Gossip and rumors can alienate friends, ruin reputations, and even lead to ostracizing behavior and other forms of relational aggression. Gossip can also negatively affect a person's performance at school or work. When people know they are gossiped, they may have difficulty concentrating on important tasks and may even avoid going to school or work because they feel embarrassed, hurt, or anxious. Their reputation can be tarnished by the gossip that is shared.
Gossip can also negatively affect relationships, as it can make a person feel ostracized and alone. Moreover, conflict is possible when a person learns that others are gossiping about them. Some people spread rumors as a way to intimidate others and gain status or popularity. But spreading rumors as a way to turn people against someone is a form of intimidation and can have serious consequences for the person who does it.
Unlike the Internet, in-person interactions involving rumors can hurt us much more. While gossip is generally considered an aspect of typical human communication, especially for teenagers, the practices of gossiping and spreading rumors about others have the potential to be highly harmful. Whether a person feels wronged by another person or is in some way envious of them, they may choose to gossip about that person or spread a rumor with the intention of hurting or “taking revenge on that other person. To help your child deal effectively with gossip and rumors, it's important to understand the difference between the two.
Being the target of gossip can be humiliating and isolated, and the mental health effects of rumors and gossip can be significant. Even when a rumor is used to elevate someone's character or spread awareness about a situation, the dissemination of unverified information is still wrong. Knapp (194), who reviewed a large collection of WWII rumors printed in the column of the Boston Herald Rumor Clinic and collected through the auspices of two mass-circulation magazines, The American Mercury and Reader's Digest. Most of the time, people who spread rumors don't bother to determine if there is any truth to what they are saying.
People tend to think of gossip as synonymous with malicious rumors, humiliation, or the breathless spread of a tabloid scoop. When you come across a gossip, a juicy rumor or an unflattering photo that clearly aims to hurt the topic, don't share it, don't comment and don't get involved. They have developed the thesis that rumors and urban legends are subsets of what biologist Richard Dawkins (197) called memes, reasoning that there is a cultural analogy between ideas that compete for survival and biological genes. A rumor is unverified information, on almost any subject, that is shared with another person.
When talking about gossip about teenagers or if someone is spreading rumors, there are several things they can do to cope with it. Gossip is when you take rumors, that unconfirmed data, and pass them around, spreading what may be “fake news.