ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Is Gossip?

Updated on April 2, 2010

 Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines gossip as follows: 

1. (noun) a. a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others.  b. a rumor or report of an intimate nature; a chatty talk; the subject matter of gossip. 

 2. (intransitive verb)  to relate gossip.

Technical definitions aside, what does that mean?  What is gossip?  Gossip is idle talk borne out of boredom, spite, jealousy, or even rage.  It is what people do behind closed doors.  It is what people say about a person to others without validating an actual truth.  Sometimes this distorted version of factual events is rubbed viciously into the wounds of the person or group of people one intends on hurting.  Sometimes such rumors are spread behind a person's back, so to speak.  Gossip is rarely good natured.

Cosmopolitan Magazine recently reported that a recommended way of making friends is to gossip.  They suggest that a mutual desire to secretly talk about other people will bring individuals together.  They suggest that bashing a boss or annoying co-worker will somehow create a commonality that will spark a friendship. 

Tabloids all over the world make a living off of spying on celebrities, real or imagined, and reporting any "dirty laundry" they may have uncovered.  Often times they take a random, candid photograph of a person at an inopportune time and concoct some twisted story to fit their 'revealing' picture.  Not only is what they are doing illegal, not to mention immoral, it is validated through the countless ignorant public purchasing said tabloids in a vain attempt to feel better about their lives through the misfortunes of others.

The Other Side

What about the people being gossiped about?  Why does it seem that people are no longer entitled to privacy?  With celebrities, political members, and royalty, the public seems to enjoy seeing the worst in them.  There seems to be a demand to show people we have deemed important, brought down to their low levels of morality or status. 

With 'everyday' people, the same theory seems to hold some merit.  It would appear that gossipers have a desire to talk down about other people in an effort to feel better about themselves in some aspect.  There is no regard to how their harsh words will affect the person being gossiped about.

It seems unclear how gossiping became such a prevalent means of personal reporting however the aftermath has been being reported upon in increasing numbers.  Consider the large number of school aged children losing their grip on reality and purposefully hurting the classmates that tortured them with incessant gossip and teasing.  Consider the number of celebrities physically assaulting members of the press after repeated requests for privacy. 

While the argument can be made that celebrities knew what they were  getting into on their quest to become famous, it has been proven that the gossip tabloids have become increasingly more aggressive in their tactics.  Employees of such magazines have been caught sifting through trash, climbing trees to see over privacy fences, hiding out on personal property, even breaking and entering and obstruction of traffic in order to get their story.

Privacy is on the decline and we are buying right into it.  There have been verified reports of people losing their ability to rationalize, turning into paranoid individuals no longer able to tolerate being seen in public.  Some people have committed suicide and cited cruel gossiping and taunting by peers as their reason.  Still others have suffered with a poor self-esteem for years, even life, through an inability to rise above the nastiness of others.  Good reputations have been ruined.  Honest careers have been destroyed.  Innocent people have even been wrongfully sentenced as the result of another person's slander.  And yet the viciousness continues.

Until we stop buying tabloids and start persecuting or inflicting some form of appropriate punishment on those that willfully gossip, this condition will continue to deteriorate.  We are responsible for what we do and say and we must acknowledge that our words, no matter how innocent you may have been, do affect others.  It is why we need to practice being kind rather than being nasty.  We may get hurt, but I, for one, would rather do the right thing and be betrayed than do the wrong thing and it go unpunished.  Whether you believe in religion or Karma or nothing at all, 'saying nothing and appearing the fool is better than opening your mouth and proving it' (author unknown).

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Chaotic Chica profile image
      Author

      Chaotic Chica 8 years ago

      Thank you all for showing me your support and approval. It is greatly appreciated. It is also good to know that I am not alone in my search for privacy and human decency! :)

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Boy oh boy- you hit the nail on the head! Great post!!

    • profile image

      getmyback 8 years ago

      bang on

      thank you

      billY

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Oh, I couldn't agree more.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Thank you for a well presented bit of light shining on a topic that often is engaged in without ever thinking about it. Gossip can be so destructive, but unfortunately, you are exactly right. There's a huge audience for it & much money to be made from it, so it'll continue, & likely, become more & more acceptable in our day to day lives, which is tragic.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)