Miley Cyrus defends herself from all the rumors that have been hounding her the past few days—living with her boyfriend, getting pulled over by the cops, and constantly being followed by the paparazzi.
How do rumors start? Simple—by talking. And let's face, it we all love to talk. Whether it's about something as babaw as a passerby's bad taste in clothes or as juicy as who's dating who in the showbiz. Whether huddled in the corner of a classroom with friends or in a chatroom crammed with virtual strangers. In short, when two or more people gather, there is bound to be conversation.
But when does gab turn to gossip? And when does gossip turn bad? Here's how you to cure your scoop addiction before your turn into a major snoop.
I Heard a Rumor...
Talk is not bad. Mom and Dad rejoiced when you spoke your first words. We like spending hours on the phone with our girlfriends and get kilig when our crush says something to us—even when it's as mundane as "excuse me" or "thanks."
"Storytelling is part of our human nature," explains Anjo Lorenzana, a communication theory teacher in communication department of Ateneo de Manila University. "People tend to create or narrate stories; it's one way of making sense of reality." For example, when a friend of his figured in a car accident, Lorenzana found himself talking about the unfortunate incident with other friends. "By way of 'gossiping' about my friend's accident, I was able to accept it and somehow process that particular experience," he recalls.
Carol Lloyd, one of the editors of Salon online magazine, writes how private gossip connects one to her own immediate surroundings, her own behavior, and the lives of the people she knows. However, Lorenzana clarifies that gossip takes on a different shade of meaning when the intent is to put the person being talked about in a bad light. To him, gossip happens "When the motivation behind [the talk] is that of jealousy, envy, or feelings of contempt for the other person."
Why do people gossip? Read more on the next page.