Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Facebook Gossip

There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, 
and that is not being talked about.
~Oscar Wilde

What is it about gossip that is just so very tantalizing? Is it a natural human instinct to look to others for information, the sheer curiosity about the lives of others that helps us modulate our own thoughts and actions, or the simple escape from our daily reality, an opportunity to enjoy some juicy drama without the emotional entanglements, that captivates our interest - as well as our time - so intently? 

In ancient times, sacred information, such as gossip, was way to let another person know that you believed them worthy of keeping a secret - an interaction between people which builds trust. Of course, sharing confidential information with thousands of "friends" on Facebook isn't exactly secret sharing, it's more akin to what happens when you're tired of talking about the weather or sharing jokes and quotes that leads one to share something about our their life, just to have something to say and/or talk about. 

Seemingly, people feel important when we let them in on what's happening in our private lives. Our personal likes, dislikes, and interests become part of our social identity. Even our eating habits, recipes, family travel pictures (the ones only relatives used to have to endure), and pets are fair game for sharing and commenting upon. 

Gossiping on FB is like having a few thousand of your favorite friends 
over for morning tea or coffee...and a little chat!  

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