Social media is funny when Mark Francis quotes Socrates in Made In Chelsea.
It’s brilliant when someone’s snapped a picture of Hot Cross Bun flavour crisps, or Beyonce wears something from Topshop, or when Simon Cowell’s gone for a topless walk with his tiny dogs and his super-wide jeans for company again.
But there are times, when real tragic human things happen, when social media seems to become at best ridiculous and at worst the most horrific invention of all time.
[ Peaches Geldof's Big Sister Fifi Posts Heart-Breaking Tribute Message ]
[ Peaches Geldof dead: Ellie Goulding, Lily Allen and Millie Mackintosh Lead Twitter Tributes To The Late Star ]
This week Peaches Geldof died. She was 25. Even before you consider the fact that she had two children, that is monumentally and catastrophically sad.
It’s the kind of sad that probably couldn’t be summed up by pages and pages of words written by the people who loved her the most, yet those who don’t know her frequently attempt to sum it up in 140 characters.
Some of those that post on Twitter are huge fans, have followed her career and love her, and in that instance I can perhaps understand why they want to add their voices.
But the majority?
The worst value retweets over human compassion, and actually sit at their computer crafting <jokes> or snide comments about a person who just died. Let’s not bother talking about those people.
[ Peaches Geldof's Last Day In MazSight Pictures Before Her Tragic Death ]
But as is always the case when somebody in the public eye passes away, there is something about the frenzy of the others – the ‘RIP’ crowd – that makes me uncomfortable too, because it feels like its a race; like those posting want people on their timeline to be aware that they knew something 10 seconds before everyone else knew it.
I suspect they’re hoping to gain a few extra followers for what is viewed as being ‘on the ball’ and what is more likely to be ‘being bored at work and scrolling Twitter every three minutes’.
Perhaps they are so used to the obligatory ‘RIP *insert person in the public eye who has died here* format of grief that they think to <not> commit their dedication to Twitter – if they’re online hanging out in that forum - is the equivalent of attending a funeral without bothering to tell the family that you’re sorry for their loss.
But do you know what? It isn’t.
Sometimes being silent is fine. Sometimes something is just awful and beyond that there is nothing to say, especially not in a forum that’s flippant and throwaway by its very nature.
Which is why Twitter is unbearable for me in these instances.
Until, at least, the trending topics have moved on, the wild speculation about cause of death has stopped and until the flow of people trying to prove that they have speed-grieved faster than their friend from work speed-grieved has finally abated.