Over the years, I have seen several statements about gossip that I thought were very interesting. I am always amazed at how people are interesting in knowing about others. They always want to talk, look and listen about what it going on with others.
I was recently on a call, where a mother was all concerned that her neighbors were watching what was going on at their home. Four radio cars arrived in a very elite neighborhood. This arrival got everyone to look. In fact some of the neighbors were walking by the house, looking towards the home and talking on their cellular phones. I can only imagine what they were saying.
As I stood there listening to the mother talk to her son. She was telling him, no, she was ordering him, to go knock on the doors and explain why all the radio cars were outside their home. She was wanting him to explain the police officers and the fact that the officers kept going in and out of their home. She was implying that it was disgraceful to have the police at their home. She was all concerned about what her neighbors were thinking.
I then saw this post on Facebook. Grammatically, it’s not the best, but it does go to the point. “Unless you was there, seen it with your own eyes, heard it with your own ears, keep your opinions and lies to yourself, obviously you have no idea!!!”
What a concept. From the mouths of babes, to the wisdom of the world. I would have to agree with the statement in its corrected form, “Unless you were there, had seen it with your own eyes, heard it with your own ears, then keep your opinions and lies to yourself. Obviously you have no idea!”
I have always wondered why people are so obsessed with gossip. Industries have been created to support gossip. Magazines, news papers, and books have all been established to continue the gossip chain. Some of it is so destructive and yet, it is a million dollar industry.
When you Google “Gossip” you will find about 70,700,000 results. Wow, that is a lot of gossip to discuss. Don’t we have anything else to talk about?
Another thing that surprised me about gossip is that even when presented with the cold hard facts, gossip continues to grow and becomes more valuable than the actual truth. Even though I don’t agree whole heartedly with this concept of gossip, researches have actually said that gossip is actually valuable. I am just shocked.
The research apparently sees the benefit of gossip in a community. The old school thought of gossip has changed tremendously over the last few years and gossip is gaining its importance in a community. In fact some researchers have concluded that gossip should be in the front and center of all group interactions. This sure does seem to be an odd concept. I look at gossip as a destructive force when it reaches the focal point.
“People find gossip irresistible for good reason: It not only helps clarify and enforce the rules that keep people working well together, studies suggest, but it circulates crucial information about the behavior of others that cannot be published in an office manual. As often as it sullies reputations, psychologist say, gossip offers a foothold for newcomers in a group and a safety net for group members who feel in danger of falling out.” (From the New York Times, August 16, 2005 by Benedict Carey).
It did not surprise me to know the amount of time people spend on gossip. Depending on the situation, the office, the friends, the school children, they all spend some time gossiping.
But when we hear gossip about me (or you in this case, the reader), I (you) often react with outrage. Why do we do this? Since all this research says gossip is good, why would we go off the deep end? Should I (you) take gossip as criticism and reflect on what I (you) should do differently?