May 16, 2021

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‘Shoot your shot’ – How the internet reacted to Bill and Melinda Gates’ divorce

4 min read
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Billionaire philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates announced on 3 May 2021 that they’ll be divorcing after nearly three decades of marriage. This has led to many shocked netizens flocking to social media.

Bill and Melinda Gates divorce

Time to part ways

The couple released a statement to say they’ve put a “great deal of thought and a lot of work” into their relationship but felt it was time to end their marriage.

They will continue to work together at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives. We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives”.

Billionaire Bill and Melinda Gates at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho in 2015. Photo: AFP/Getty Images/Scott Olson

Their daughter, Jennifer Gates, said via Instagram Stories that “it’s been a challenging stretch of time for our whole family”. Jennifer added that she was “still learning how to best support” her own process and emotions.

That said, she’s grateful for having “the space to do so”. She thanked her followers for their support, but said she won’t be commenting further “on anything around the separation”.

Bill and Melinda Gates memes

Bill and Melinda Gates splitting up made me realize that we shouldn’t close this Gate so it’s my Window(s) of time to shoot my shot. He built computers, but I just want to build a relationship with you. He coded software, but I’m always hard(ware) around you. Hope you’re doing ok pic.twitter.com/LcyAs8Ifpm

— hugh g. rection (@sne_jajaja) May 3, 2021

“Seeing Bill and Melinda Gates not Excel at their relationship has me like “Word?” I wish our Windows weren’t closed but you made it a PowerPoint to stay away. Here’s hoping your future has a better Outlook.” pic.twitter.com/jFaVxrhL53

— Oluwajomiloju (@JomiAdeniran) May 3, 2021

Of course, this didn’t prevent social media users from sharing their thoughts about the high-profile couple’s split. From memes and tweets to marriage proposals, here’s the best we could find. There were quite a few masterful wordsmiths out there…

“So the Queen of England is newly single and then suddenly Bill Gates gets a divorce. Are you thinking what I’m thinking”

might as well @BillGates pic.twitter.com/QbzSIAgSCp

— cum-thulhu (@breezycarter_) May 4, 2021

So the queen of England is newly single and then suddenly Bill gates gets a divorce. Are u thinking wat am thinking pic.twitter.com/1HyBCgRimz

— LYTA (@lytamc_ug) May 4, 2021

DMs and ‘fineapples’

Other users were more direct and slid into Bill’s DM’s without shame. One user, Maddy, sent him a direct message saying she’s available if he needed to talk, while another went the poetic route:

“If you were a fruit, you’d be a fineapple”.

Bill and Melinda Gates getting divorced makes me wonder how long #Melania will last before switching up her “visa sponsor.”

— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) May 4, 2021

Bill and Melinda Gates: “We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.” Can our families also have space and privacy from both of you?

— Dr Naomi Wolf (@naomirwolf) May 4, 2021

The phrase “shoot your shot” was also used liberally on Twitter today. Matthew Navarro had a go at shooting his shot and asked if Bill would ever consider “switching teams”.

“These days you gotta think outside the box to get ahead in life. Always be on the lookout for the next big opportunity. Shoot your shot. #melindagates #billgates”

Nobody:@BillGates inbox after announcing a possible divorce: pic.twitter.com/wsL33vGIUq

— Materiallyfe (@MaterialLyfe) May 4, 2021

BILL GATES: sup girl, I’m single now, wanna come back to my place?
HIS PLACE: pic.twitter.com/szJRoAX9fi

— everett byram (@rad_milk) May 4, 2021

Privacy jokes

And then, of course, there were privacy jokes. So many privacy jokes. Author Nick Adams asked: “Anyone else find it ironic Bill Gates is asking for privacy”, while a user known only as John D added:

“Bill Gates wants to track every human being with a microchip implant but also wants you to respect his privacy during this difficult time lol”

John D, Twitter.

@BillGates please reply pic.twitter.com/s91Am7Jg0l

— Julianna Alford (@alfordjulianna) May 4, 2021

billgates got divorced i tried i hope he replies pic.twitter.com/pSIg42X8kq

— Moeez/ baba jaan stan acc (@iamsademojiuser) May 4, 2021