Getting Real with Tammy Torres

Why do we entertain gossip? Gossip is a virus.

I used to volunteer for Family Readiness for the Army and we taught hundreds of wives and families how to receive and believe information about their soldier. Being an ex-military wife for over 17 years, I knew not to watch the news because “if it bleeds it leads” and to only believe the Army Chaplin at my door. We would disperse information in an emergency using phone trees. When done correctly, it worked great. But we’ve all played the telephone game, so we know what a disaster it can be. The game is played with a group of people. One person starts by whispering a sentence “My mom wears purple polka dots on her pants.” Second person repeat to third person and so on…By the time the sentence is relayed to the last person it is “My monster something about purple and dances.” It’s fun when it’s a game.

Loose lips sink ships and technology has given us the loosest lips ever with hardly any accountability. Are we so bored we have to be a virus infecting others to be happy? Gossip is like a game of telephone run amok. It turns into a human virus, intent on causing damage, fueled by sensationalism and wanting to hear itself come back, knowing what was started as a rumor will be amplified. It’s passive aggressive and attention-seeking.

There’s one great way to kill gossip like the virus it is: Keep no secrets, teach our children not to gossip, and stop playing host!