Those three words – they make a man, they break a man. They change lives forever. They bring people together, they tear couples apart. They make criminals out of common men. Those three words – Hollywood thrives on it. High school students crave for it. Adults are all ears about it. Because haven’t you heard?
“You’re nobody until you’re talked about”
The celebrities are fighting for a new law that states paparazzi cannot take pictures of their children. They’ve got it wrong. The paparazzi wouldn’t be there if some idiot on 5th avenue on his way to work didn’t look at a magazine that says “Ben Affleck’s family goes walking” and immediately fishes out $2 so he can read about it. In a way, doesn’t that feel creepy – that you would pay $2 of your hard-earned money to read about a family walking around the block? That you crave to look at pictures of them and read about their everyday activities?
When the media builds someone, they ensure that this person has always got the spotlight. When it vanishes, that person will do anything to bring that attention back. As a result of all this, we young adults have half-naked TV Awards, full naked music videos and the reigning queen’s photoshopped thigh gap. When someone posts a photo of themselves with another celebrity in a sexy manner, they spark rumors. “Is she dating him?” “Are they together?” And just like that, they’ve made news again.
Imagine you’re a kid in high school and nobody knows you, nobody talks to you but everybody knows her. There’s two ways to change that. Start a rumor about you so it would put you on the map. Start a rumor about her so it would take her off of it. Where does that kid learn this trick from?
The parent that sits at home and gossips about one friend to another. “Did you hear she got a nose job?” Why do you care if she did?
I moved to a new house a few years ago. Every time I walked into that house, people knew. Every time I walked out, they knew. They knew the people that came to visit. They knew what we were doing. Even weirder when the landlord, who lived five miles away, turned up exactly five minutes after we got there because someone had called her. When I moved out of there, I informed her that her “contacts” could be sued for stalking and invasion of privacy. She smiled and said “People just talk. It’s gossip and rumors. Ignore it.” But why should I?
This is something that has bothered me for a long time now and I’m just going to put this out there in the universe for someone to answer – Why is it so difficult for one human being to not care what the next one does? Whether on a bus or a train, when walking on the streets, when living in the same block, when picking up a gossip magazine – why? If you have a lot of time on your hands, join a class. If you don’t have the money, teach one. Go walk around your city, pick up a new habit. Why does one feel the need to read about another person – rumor or real – and then comment on it and spread it around?
Because this is the truth – if you’re not hearing something from the source, you can be very sure it’s either false or exaggerated. If I told someone that we found a 2ft long snake in my apartment building, the third person that hears it will hear – “Did you know? There was a 5ft long snake in her apartment and apparently it was hissing at everyone. It almost attacked a security guard. They couldn’t even control it. I heard it was such a fuss. Such a pity. Such a nice building, yet no safety.” All I ever said was “There was a 2ft long snake in my apartment building.”
With so many different types of social media, the world is shrinking. And as more people allow strangers a sneak-peak into their worlds and into their minds through pictures, messages and blogs, it is very difficult to know where the line of privacy is drawn. But anything you say will turn into a bigger story five people down and that fifth version is what we call “A Rumor” ..
It is fake, it is made up and yet, so unbelievably juicy. It is an individual’s responsibility to check with the source before spreading it around. If the source is unreachable, then maybe it’s time to put a stop to that story.
There are, of course, times when the source is lying to look cool. These are the times when you have to trust your own judgement. These are the times when you have to decide if you want to be the person that has the juiciest story or the one that does the right thing.
When we say we heard a rumor, it feels like such a petty thing. But I assure you, it’s not. I’m pretty sure 7 out of 10 rumors ruin lives. They change the person and not always for good. Any rumor about me would make me close up and go completely anti-social. Some rumors put people through mental trauma. Regular people like you and me have committed suicide because of rumors. So think twice before you click on that website to read about her new boob job. Think twice before you pick up that phone and talk about that secret you heard. Think twice before you make up a story to look cool. Always remember, if they’re gossiping to you, they’re gossiping about you.
And oh ! I can’t believe I almost forgot to tell you. I just heard that rumor has it
36 thoughts on “Rumor Has It..”
Great post! I don’t know why gossip is such a phenomenon-I’m as guilty as the next gal though.
Guilty here.. I am forcing myself to stop but it gets very difficult..
Thank you so much 🙂
Very good thoughts. I agree.
Thank you 🙂
great post! love the concept!
Thank you so much 🙂
To your question “Why is it so difficult for one human being to not care what the next one does?, I think that people create stories with their own added creativity so that a part of them can become as “successful” as the rumor. Or it could be because the rumored person has something that the person creating the story wants and out of jealousy creates havoc. As for a person spreading their own rumors, they see that its how most people reach the “top”. Its sad and its hard for us to stop rumors when they get to us, but with every conscious moment a change is possible :). I’m still working on mine too.
Oh and awesome post ^_^
But besides spreading the rumors, we also are intrigued by them. I try everyday to not type the words but at the end of the day, I end up on eonline to read which celebrity is doing what. I’m not jealous or in need to reach the top but that curiosity, the need to know what every person on this planet is doing, is something that I don’t understand. In me or in anyone else.. And I honestly believe it helps feed the increase in rumors.. Thank you for the comment 🙂
Thank you 😀
I tend to think people exaggerate when they repeat a story, to make themselves more interesting. “I have something to say that you are going to want to hear.” So to speak. They possibly might think the original story didn’t have enough meat in it. These reasons could be why the average person does it. The for profit person has another reason, of course.
I actually remember a time when someone did that to a story I said.. Was definitely not fun explaining the ‘boring’ truth.
I think Taylor Swift got it right when she titled her new song, “Shake it Off”. I don’t usually follow music videos – but this young lady’s song impressed me. No mud slinging (really) and no vulgarity. And – I LOVE the way you threaded your title and theme from beginning to end. Great introduction.
I love her music 🙂 And her lyrics.. 😀
Thank you so much 🙂
Love the intro!
Thank you 🙂
This post was really interesting. I like how you said that with social media, the world is shrinking…it sure seems that way. Too much instant access and no privacy.
Thank you 🙂 As someone that has recently taken a step away from social media, I can definitely say it feels like I stepped out of the limelight. Refreshing that for once I have something to talk about without the other person going “Oh yeah, I know. You put a status update about it..”
This has been a good read! Love the way your post branched out to side effects and ripples but rounded back up to the main issue. Personally, I’m not one who knows the latest on who or what. So somehow I always find myself in the sidelines of things. I’ve learned that it has become necessary to be in on the secrets to become part of a group – which is just sad.
Very true.. I feel like someone should start a “sideline” group where we get to talk about things that aren’t on the cover of a gossip magazine..
Thank you 🙂
Great post! So, you mentioned that you have lived in Singapore. Well, I am sure you would relate to the “k-po” culture. HAHA!
Surprisingly, I have no idea what that is.. 🙂 Thank you 🙂
Well, its the culture that almost everone is a busybody, and wants information thay they don’t really need.
Haha.. Yes !! That sounds a lot like life in Singapore.. I still remember when I used to sit at Kopitiam and in ten minutes, I would know every story about every person on my campus – blew my mind how everyone always knew everything.
Well, gossips travel really quickly in enclosed spaces. And it’s really frightening.
Very true.. 🙂
Well-written and thought out. Obviously, this is something that really upsets you (and rightly so!). As a retired teacher, I’ve seen “rumors” absolutely devastate a young person. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a form of bullying (with “scars” that go deeper than a punch or a slap!) However, you asked a question in this post that can be looked at from 2 perspectives:” Why is it so difficult for one human being NOT CARE what the next one does?” I care. I care that each of us treat each other with respect and with dignity. I care that when I step out into society each day that if I see someone being abused or mistreated, I’m going to care enough to intervene and say, “Hey! What’s going on?! Stop it!” “Caring” is somewhat of a double edge sword: I NEVER want to be the source of a rumor (although I’m sure I’ve broken that rule a time or two, myself!!) and I never want to stop “caring” about what “one does”; especially if that person is hurting themselves or someone else. The issue for me is that “I care” in a non-judgemental way; in a way that does not JUDGE you, but truly care for you – simply as one human being “cares” for another. Does that make sense?? Any way, I’m talking too much (AS usual!!). It’s obvious to me that you’re a young woman that’s passionate about the things you write about. Job well-done!! 🙂
This was an answer I never expected and thank you for that 🙂 There have been a lot of times when I travel and I see someone crying on the bus and I feel the need to hand them a tissue but what really stops me is when I realize – If I am on a bus, crying, I’d rather the next person not make me feel self-conscious about it by acknowledging it. So I choose to ignore them. And I agree with you, caring about the people around us is definitely important. But wanting to know what I do, or turning their head to see who I’m texting or even friends and family that ask you “So the guy on your whatsapp picture, who is he?” is something that bothers me.
Caring is definitely a double-edged sword and finding someone that cares in a non-judgmental way is like finding a black stone in a coal mine – Thank you for being the rarest of rare 🙂
And thank you for the comment 😀
PS – I talk too much too !! 🙂
You’re welcome, Sweetheart! And P.S. If someday you find yourself “crying on a bus” and an old, gray haired Italian woman hands you a kleenex and gives you a wink, it just might be an old retired school teacher, named “Lucie”, who just wants you to know that, “I see you. I care and you matter”…..That’s all. No more. No less. Namaste, Sweet Pea!!! Keep on writing and keep on “talking”!! 🙂
Good piece. You certainly raise a valid question there. Its a perpetuating cycle because the media thinks we want to read about someone’s boob job or that they went to a restaurant so they print it, so we buy it and so they print it again.
It’s a crappy culture.
Thank you 🙂 It definitely is a crappy culture – one that isn’t ending anytime in the near future..
This was a hell of a piece. Happy to stumble across it in The Community Pool.
Thank you so much 😀
I just wanted to say thank you for your post, I was really moved because a day earlier I had posted my dream to my blog: http://unfoldingtheheart.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/dreams-unfolding/ . By the time I got to the end of your post I was in tears.
My dream is would involve hiking through unknown terrain, this is a scary thing because I have been raised to fear that if I am alone, I am easy prey for predators(animal and human)… But you have to have faith in your dreams and know that they were put there for a reason, to me that’s the safest place I could be.
I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this topic.
Thank you 🙂