For many, I imagine, the idea of having a good old chin wag and a gossip is normal and even socially acceptable. Very little thought is given to it. People spread the “goss” on others and take some salacious pleasure if there are any juicy morsels therein. Without doubt there is some enhancement or elaboration as the morsel passes between vectors.
In my former profession gossip was rife. In fact, a form of gossip called “measures of esteem” was used as a metric for career progression. I have joked that the collective noun for a group of academics is a “gossip” of academics. Reputation, as impermanent as it is, is an “important” thing in the academy. Decision making is not quite as rational as it may be deemed, especially when it comes to the allocation of money. Reputation can be built or destroyed by the swish of a tongue. It is part and parcel of a way of life, it is “normal”. Any organism has internal politics.
Few would consider gossip as a an entirely toxic poison because what would there be left to talk about without gossip. Of course, it is only other people who spread and listen to gossip. WE are having an intelligent conversation. It is very easy to kid oneself and find justifications for any behaviour which one wants to indulge in.
It is normal to gossip, isn’t it? So that makes it OK. People can have some very dodgy motives.
I think I have mentioned that on a number of occasions I have had people gossip about me, to me, without their realising who I was. This is weird to experience, the temptation to say “please, tell me more” was strong.
Is it normal to use the internet to stalk another being, perhaps an ex?
If everybody is doing it, is it really OK?
I’ll make a hypothesis.
As a rule of thumb people are not honest with themselves about their motives and they use justifications to obfuscate and mitigate said motives, so as to kid themselves. People are not self-aware.
Is this normal behaviour? What do you think? Is it an accurate hypothesis?
I suspect that this hypothesis applies to groups of people as well as individuals.
I want to ask a question:
Have you ever used the cloaks of normality and social acceptability to indulge is something that is dodgy?
The reason that this is flagged up today for me is that people on the telly are banging on about wanting to get back to normal post-pandemic. The pandemic isn’t over yet, and I am not so sure that normal is any good any way.