Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I grew up learning that gossip was a bad thing. It is not something to be proud of. I heard a lot about it in Sunday school and how it shouldn't be done. It is a sin. Yet, I grew up hearing all those same people and other "adults" in my life do it every day. I've heard various comments, "Oh, it's not gossip if you care about the person", or, "I'm not gossiping...but...". Everyone does it. Some, more than others. But what divides us up into the nosy neighbor category vs. just the average person? What amount of gossip is acceptable? Is it when a person starts judging actions and isn't just sharing a story? Is it only gossip after it repeats itself multiple times from the same person? What defines telling a story about someone vs. gossiping about them? Are we not to talk about other people, like, ever? Wouldn't that just make us self-centered and narcissistic? Isn't that bad too?

This is just my brain over-analyzing the topic. I bring this all up because I recently watched a fascinating TED talk about the sociology of gossip. (A little background here - I've been interested in sociology since I was FORCED to take a mandatory soc class in high school. I find other people really interesting. People watching is fun, seriously! (No, I'm not a creeper). Why people do what they do in a group or how people are affected by other people sucks me in. So, sociology of gossip? Heck yeah I'm going to watch it!

I really liked how the speaker pulled together the two topics. Now to be clear, she's talking celebrity gossip. Which I may or may not find myself reading every day...and I may or may not have several links saved as my favorites...and for some reason always feel a little bit guilty about reading...

Here, go watch for yourself! (It's a wee bit long, about 20 minutes, so I'll go grab a coffee and wait for you).

What did you think? I'm curious to know. The folks I'm around every day (the husband) mostly find celebrity gossip pointless. They'll say it's mush or all fake. (However, even if it IS all fake, if I'm entertained, what's the difference from reading a fictional novel?) Buttt, here's the thing, I'm pretty sure it's not all fake. Pictures of people in certain places are points in their life that are actually happening. Princess Kate and Jessica Simpson are both having babies. Really! That's not fake. And I'm reading and looking at everything I can get my hands on about it. This video just hits home for me though. WHY am I interested in celebrity babies? What is so fascinating about females and their actions in society? Why am I drawn to reality tv, even when I know it's not real reality? This is totally a bigger thing that I hadn't realized I was doing...and this video made that connection.

Next time I pick up an Us Weekly or check out EOnline, I don't think I'll feel such mixed emotions about it now.

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