When I was in high school I was the ‘Secret Keeper’ among my friends. My friends would talk to me about everything, knowing that I wouldn’t say anything to anyone. I was raised by a therapist; she instilled the importance of confidentiality in me.
It didn’t always turn out well for me. I would end up knowing things that I wish I didn’t. Or inevitably, my friends would end up in a fight, and it would be said that I had known about the issue all along. It was never ‘my place’ to share other people’s secrets. Which is what I kept saying each time this happened.
I did end up in a couple feuds with friends over my choice to not blab other people’s secrets, even when they did involve other people. I even came very close to losing a close friend, due to my choices. There was pain & anguish over keeping quiet sometimes, but I did (and still do) ‘stick to my guns’ when it comes keeping my mouth shut about other people’s secrets.
High school was really hard at times, just because of how vicious some of the girls could be. Some rumors had potential to ruin a reputation permanently, even if they were false.
Gossip is a huge potential moneymaker. Magazines and websites such as TMZ and the National Enquirer profit of off gossip and our curiosity about other people’s lives. I know that I read the ‘gossip magazines’ when I am in line at the grocery store or Wal-Mart, and I even follow the random story or two on the internet. They pull us in. But, that doesn’t mean that they are morally or ethically correct.
I know, that even as a journalist, I am going to protect my sources, and follow my gut when it comes to what to publish and what not to. There are times when ‘crossing the line’ is for the good of the public or your readers. There are also times when the reasons for such actions are just not justified. No matter how ‘good’ the story may be or how much a select few people may benefit from the story being released.
Gossip usually hurts someone and is not worth repeating. Take the kindergarten approach next time you hear a piece of ‘tasty’ gossip: If you wouldn’t want that said about you, don’t say it at all.
Glitz & Glamour,