Gossip: The Social Epidemic
[dropcap]9[/dropcap]0210.One Tree Hill. Pretty Little Liars. The Royals. Keeping up with the Kardashians. Fashion Police. The OC. The Bachelor. Real Housewives of ANYWHERE. The list could go on forever. All of these shows have one thing in common that keeps us interested. Gossip. Who said what about who? Do you honestly watch these shows to learn moral lessons, or for words of wisdom? I know I don't. The reason we like these shows is because we get to escape our reality and problems and watch someone else's dramatized problems get even worse! I asked around to collect some opinions from teens at my school. I asked a 16 year old male "Do you think girls gossip more than guys and why?" His response was "Girls want to be informed on everyone's relationships and problems, where as guys don't seem to care as much unless it involves them directly or a close friend". Although this is only one opinion, he makes a good argument. Some girls tend to take everyone's problems into their own hands (trying to help) but end up getting mixed up in something that didn't concern them in the first place. In many hit dramas, the plot is quite similar. Someone tells a lie about someone, and then that person tells someone else, and the vicious cycle spirals into a massive lie and many friendships get broken. Yet, no matter how bad it gets, the gossipers never seem to learn their lesson. And we don't want them to. Gossip doesn't only travel by mouth, it surfs the web just as much, maybe more in this technologically advanced world we live in. Sometimes gossip can start with a small conversation between a couple people, but as soon as social media is involved, the rumors, lies, and truths are available for the world to see, that's when things get dangerous. A big problem with gossip is that it isn't always accurate. Have you ever played the game telephone? You say something in someone's ear and it gets passed on to everyone in the circle and then the last person says what they heard. It is almost never even close to what was said in the first place. People start rumors and gossip when most of the time it's misunderstood information. So the next time you hear something about someone, check your sources before believing it. The smallest white lie can be blown out of proportion and possibly destroy someone's reputation. Don't believe everything you hear. Another opinion from a 16 year old female gave a different and valid response when asked the exact same question. “Gender doesn’t define how much crap you talk. Dudes say just as much shit and dirt on people as chicks do”. These perspectives are truthful and opinionated based on that person’s experiences with gossip, but I opened this topic up to the Internet to get some facts about gossip and its damage on teenagers. Is gossip a form of bullying?
I don’t think a lot of people think about gossip in this way. That’s why I feel it needs to be brought to people’s attention, especially teens. High school is a place where people of all kinds come together for many different reasons. There is a lot of differences and unique qualities within people that sometimes gets overlooked and unseen. Bullying has so many forms and can be a hidden trait by many great people. When you make the conscious decision to say something mean about someone, you take the risk of them finding out. Now you may be wondering, what’s the big deal, everyone gossips? That’s the big deal right there. Spreading rumors and embarrassing stories about people can emotionally destroy someone. I consider that one of the most malicious and sneaky forms of bullying. Who doesn’t love a good reality TV show every once and a while? Not the person being gossiped about, that’s for sure. Gossip and its glamourized image on television can falsely expose its truly damaging effect on people. Hopefully my investigation sends a moral message to every boy and girl out there so they think twice before spreading knowledge that doesn’t blow over like it does in entertainment.