I had been staring at my screen, biting my nails, writing and deleting a couple of times. I couldn’t prevent myself from the irresistible urge to spill it all out. The unprecedented bomb on the tip of my tongue. A wild instinct, a relief, sharing the burden of knowing too much. I understood that “What Susie says of Sally, says more about Susie than of Sally” but I was willing to take the risk, become the Master of Whisperers, your one and only Gossip Girl. What is wrong with me? I’ve been on the other side, it’s not fun. Yet, everyone gossips, it’s like the goddamned consumerism: it will never stop. What is it about tattling that makes us feel so good?
On average, humans spend about 52 minutes a day gossiping (the official definition of gossip being “talking about people who are not present”). Crazy stats aside though, what’s fascinating, it’s the unconscious motives behind it. Some argue that gossip declares what’s socially acceptable and what’s not. Take the classic love and sex talk, those are things we can relate to, we all have in common, so we feel entitled to assert and judge - either because we've been there too, or we hope we never are. We’re obsessed about reputation, we’re insatiable, curious about people’s personalities, who they are. “Is he a jerk or is it just me?” Translation being: should I keep or avoid? A rather practical approach I must say.
Others might consider gossiping the ultimate bonding tool. The truth is, there's some satisfaction associated with sharing knowledge, especially when it’s with a dear one. In a way, you gossip within a close circle, it requires some degree of intimacy, trust. Unless you’re a helpless extrovert, you don’t approach people in the street and disclose juicy intel about someone else. We adore hearing salary rumours, who earns what. It’s like we track our peers' money to make sure they’re up to it or they don’t do anything corrupt.
Then there’s celebrity gossip. The “nepo babies'', Harry’s kiss with EmRata, Gwyneth Paltrow and her ski collision trial (by the way, I just discovered this gem, note the sarcasm: www.thehollywoodgossip.com). Honestly, why do we even care? That’s plain and simple folks: we’re pointing at someone else to escape dealing with our own issues. It makes us feel better about ourselves. “I’d hate to be famous”, well thank God there's dumb famous people above us to criticise, otherwise we’d be left with much alike individuals that could as well be us.
But there has to be some sort of regulation right? (the party pooper in disguise). Gossip can be very harmful, deadly. What if it turns into bullying? What if we blame that one single mistake she or he has made, omitting their entire trajectory, their whole package of perfect actions? We should learn how to properly gossip, it’s official. Think twice before talking, that is. Don’t distort information, a.k.a exaggerate responsibly. Are you stabbing someone in the back for personal gain or helping detect a toxic bachelor for community’s sake? Learn the difference, empathise at least two times a day. Because chances are if she's gossiping with you, then she'll probably be gossiping about you with somebody else.