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The psychology and impacts of Gossiping

Blend half a cup of bitter reality, a generous helping of creativity and two heaped spoons of wishful thinking and there you have the flawless recipe for a refreshing cup of gossip. Now that we do not have time to rest our backs on garden chairs, we have taken on to the internet to rest with our hot brewing cups of gossips.

The venues are many and range from Google Hangout and Facebook to live Skype video chats. Some of us may be so lucky that the first cup itself would end up winning a few thousand likes. Internet's piping hot cups of gossips come in cute little bags, like the priced Darjeeling tea - securely packed and sealed to retain the aroma and essence of the mountains. The bags will be in circulation for a while until its expiry, a date unanimously decided by the creator himself.

The other version is the leaf  - brew it and once you get the desired strength you can dispose it off with ease. When some of these precious cups of gossips become perfect enough to engage media attention there we have a high-tea. You will not have to worry about spending on tidbits, as the media is more than happy to spend on it lavishly for bringing in the required spice and flavour.

Psychology sees gossip as a form of communication by a mature human being by synchronizing his powers to obtain information, add some of his own and present it in a convincing manner to the receiver. Evolutionary biologist Robin Dunbar opines that gossiping aides in social bonding in large groups. Gossiping may not be malicious always and serves to teach group members about group norms.

Gone is the age when gossip was the 'ladies-only' phenomenon. Gossip is the fuel of the social networking engine and users aide its acceleration. Creative gossips as long as it is not malicious or intended at personal harm can become abundant literary sources.

Ultra-rich gossips are powerful enough to create economic upswings and can also trigger downswings. The power of a gossip over the stock market and the economy should not be underestimated. It can whip-up a bubble and burst it in no time. Gossips can also function as a seemingly banal, but furtively sharp political weapon. The role of a gossip in pulling down governments is vital.

The ethicality of a gossip comes into question most of the time. Gossiping in general is considered as a negative behavioral pattern, but psychology backs constructive gossips that tend to encourage peer-to-peer information exchange. It also helps in social grooming. But it is difficult to sieve apart constructive and de-constructive gossips and constructive gossips by itself can have undesired implications on varied groups, especially when it is transmitted over a wide-spanning medium such as the internet.

As a user of internet one has to have a bird’s eye view of the impact of a comment on various social groups. It is important to ensure that comments are constructive and impersonal. Remember, as an internet user you have the power to create as well as to destroy as you please, but with great power comes great responsibility.

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