Let’s face it. Some people like to gossip about everything, from what the neighbor wore outside last week to the sexual practices of people in church to the possibility of a zombie apocalypse. But why do we feel the insatiable need to know everything that’s going on with everybody?
I can’t tell you the number of times a conversation has started with “Now I’m not a gossip, but…” and inevitably what follows is plain and simple gossip. So, we are embarrassed to gossip but we also can’t help ourselves, even those of us who say we don’t do it.
Perhaps it is just simple human nature, to want to know everything about everyone, even if some of those things are and should be private. Or maybe we protect ourselves by saying that honesty is the best policy, as if being honest means we need to know who’s doing what with whom, like that’s our business. When it’s not.
Some of us love to blame technology or the media for this gossip bug. We read so much gossip in our Twitter feeds, and it is so easy now just to pass it along. Just retweet it, a simple press of a button, and it gets broadcast to all of our considerable followers. Now add in our Facebook friends and email contacts, have them share it with all of their friends and contacts and it is of epidemic proportions.
Is it true, whatever it is we were sharing? Who cares. If enough people believe something because of how widespread the conversation about it is, that seems to make it true in our society. What a sad state of affairs.
And the media isn’t much better, allowing us almost real time access into Amanda Bynes’ meltdown, or into the royal baby (place bets on the name!), or into Wiener’s wiener. Sheesh! No wonder we feel like we should know when the prime minister of Great Britain last went to the bathroom, like it’s our right to the information.
We create our own reality with gossip, but we don’t have to give in to its pull. The next time someone tweets scandalous gossip, we don’t have to respond to it, or retweet it. We can move right past it. The next time someone comes up to you and starts the conversation with, “Guess what I just heard,” we can head them off at the pass.
We have the power to eliminate gossip in our world, so why not exercise that power? It starts with you and goes out in ripple waves. Start with something positive and see where those ripples spread instead.