In the hour after the news of Whitney Houston's death broke, 18% of all Twitter messages referenced the singer, as fans logged on to express their shock and grief. That's a change from most of the 20th century, during which public mourning was frowned upon in Western cultures, author Katherine Ashenburg says. "Social media has given people a kind of community to mourn in. Death has entered the conversation again," Ashenburg says.

Related Summaries