...ARE YOU? Hey, I know...some people are. After all, I do live in Los Angeles, the gossip and rumor capitol of the world! LOL. Years ago, Hedda Hopper was the unofficial "Queen of Hollywood Gossip." And today, there are entire TV shows and web sites built on the Hollywood gossip mill. (Oh, brother!) Well, professional gossip is one thing, (and bad enough on its own), but what I want to talk about today is the gossip and rumor-mongering many individuals engage in on their own. In either category, it's just not pretty!
Gimme the dirt!
I want the dish! Oh, how many times have you heard that expression, huh? It's very popular these days. and may even be expressed as gimme the dirt. How appropriate because, hey, lots of times, that's just what gossip is...dirt! Sure, the person dishing the dirt may be doing it "just for fun" without the intent of hurting anyone but, especially when the dirt is simply untrue, it can end up hurting someone!
Then there're those nasty-old rumors. Many of them tap into people's fears, which can make a rumor easier to believe. Even though, like "the dirt", that rumor may very well be untrue. Fear of the unknown or simply not having the facts on a particular subject or a person's situation play right into those rumors. And the really sad news is that a rumor, left unattended and unchallenged has the uncanny quality of taking on the appearance of fact! There are many so-called "urban legends" that really are nothing more than rumors. Don't believe everything you hear and, (this is very important), consider the source of those things repeated to you.
The latest form of gossip is Cyber-Gossip.
Now, we've got to talk about the latest form of gossip and, believe me, Hedda Hopper would have never seen this one coming, LOL. I'm talking about Cyber-Gossip...uh, oh! In this high-tech, Internet, Facebook, Twitter and texting age we live in, I'd say this form of gossip and rumor spreading is the most prevalent and especially dangerous. Maybe you've heard some of the horror stories on the news about some poor kid being bullied, gossiped and lied about on the Internet. And, tragically, some of the kids and even some adults have taken their own lives, simply because they could not deal with the horrible, hurtful and oftentimes untrue things said about them online. Oh, it just breaks my heart!
Here's something else for you to consider. It's easy for people to feel less responsible when they start or spread an online rumor. In a lot of cases, they're able to do it anonymously and, that way, (in their own minds anyway), they don't have to assume responsibility for spreading the rumor. But before you believe or even think about spreading hearsay online, think about this. That rumor, that untruth, that lie can be even more damaging than if it were spread in person. That's because of how many eyes can end up seeing the story you're spreading in a very short period of time. That's what going VIRAL can do to a story, making it that much easier to hurt someone.
Don't you be the gossiping kind!
Okay, I do hope the title of today's message applies to you. Hey, I know you're not one who goes round spreadin' rumors...cos' you're really just NOT the gossiping kind. Please do yourselves a big favor and always make an extra effort to stick to the truth and respect the privacy and feelings of others. Because I know you want and expect the same for yourself.