Wednesday, October 7, 2015

‘Double Tap for Caleb’: Mourning a 13-Year-Old YouTube Star on Instagram

"We all deal with tragedy in different ways, and Instagram hashtags represent something that’s not as much new as it is newly visible. Mourning hashtags make it possible not only to easily share grief, but to view collective grief all at once, in a backlit tapestry of public despair. #RIPCaleb is a sad place to scroll through, and one made sadder by the lack of information about Caleb’s sudden death. Commenters—who must be confused about the concept of death to begin with—are using some of the most popular posts as forums in which to share their own theories, such as:



“He had a panick attack, his heart stopped beating [emojis] everyone sub to them”
“Did he have hart problems?”
“people are saying it’s because he had an anxiety attack and went to sleep then he never woke up beaus of heart failure or something. but that’s just what everyone is saying.”



After spending the morning viewing post after post about this tragic death, there’s one I just can’t shake: a short video uploaded by a girl who appears to be a good friend of Caleb’s sister Annie. It’s a heartbreaking video, and one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen on the internet. In it, she confirms the rumors of Caleb’s death to her 10.6 thousand followers, offers emotional support, and shares an optimistic sentiment about Caleb’s legacy.

It’s captioned, simply, “@presshandstands”—the username of Annie Bratayley."



‘Double Tap for Caleb’: Mourning a 13-Year-Old YouTube Star on Instagram




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