Social Media Fuels Gossip

As social networking is so accessible, many people gossip on-line, posting blog entries and Tweets, not only about celebrities, but about people they know socially or at work. Here are some very real negative impacts of gossiping.

Unfortunately, technology means people can gossip anonymously, without having to take responsibility for what they spread, which could be very damaging and hurtful to the person being gossiped about.

When social networking involves hostility towards another person, or group of people, it can trigger anger and a ‘mob’ mentality of picking on the weak, or those who are perceived as being different in some way from the rest of their peer group.

In schools, offices, or close-knit communities, refusing to speak to or communicate with a person can cause extreme mental anguish and even result in suicide. Putting prisoners into isolation is considered an effective form of punishment and refusing to let someone socialize and talk with other people quickly breaks down their sense of self.

Naming and shaming other people and holding them up to ridicule can be devastating to the victim; this is when gossip crosses the line into bullying behavior, either covert or blatant.