When famous people (and even fictional characters) die, how do you respond?
When singer Whitney Houston died in February 2012, the immediate response was expressions of grief on Facebook, Twitter, and many forums. Similar results occurred with the 2012 deaths of Amy Winehouse, Adam Yauch (Beastie Boys), Dick Clark, and others.
The odd thing is, the widespread shared expressions of mourning were for people most of the mourners had never met. The common responses to celebrity deaths demonstrate important realities about how people build relationships with the media they consume.