It has now been nearly six months since Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven others tragically passed away in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.
Despite the length of time since his passing, everyone connected to the Los Angeles Lakers — from fans to players to front office — continues to grieve his loss. And while it has felt real for quite some time now, every so often, something happens to remind the world that Bryant is gone.
This time it came in the form of social media, or more specifically, Instagram. Recently, Instagram decided it was time to memorialize Bryant’s account, one that had racked up nearly 21 million followers.
Memorializing an account is something Instagram does when someone deemed of public interest passes away, and it changes the account in several ways.
Instagram has added “remembering” to Kobe Bryant’s account. pic.twitter.com/9Mx1Qtr3cG
— Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015) July 10, 2020
First, it essentially freezes the account, meaning nobody can log in or change any settings. This includes privacy, profile photos, posts already made, or who the account follows. All of those things will remain as they were upon Bryant’s passing.
In addition, posts from memorialized accounts do not show up on the Explore page of Instagram. This way, if people want to avoid looking at it for personal reasons, they can easily.
The final change is the word “remembering” being added to the front of the person’s name. This is the most obvious thing that signifies a memorialized account.
Bryant’s account can now not be tampered with and will remain as he left it, with only one post being made after his death. To this day, it remains unbelievably tragic that Bryant is no longer with us, and it’s even harder to process when imagining that his daughter and seven others were lost as well.
There have been very few celebrity deaths that have had this type of impact on people, and it shows just how important Bryant was to so many people. Bryant was a fixture in Lakers fans’ homes for two decades. Although so many people never got to meet him, he felt like a part of so many families.
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