by Kenneth Justice
A friend of mine called me up yesterday and was really upset. One of their relatives had posted some inflammatory gossip on Facebook and it had made the rounds throughout the day,
“Kenneth, what they said was entirely false, it was a bull shit lie, but now everyone saw it and I’ve had to spend the day calling and texting everyone to say it wasn’t true” they told me.
Gossip and slander are two of the most difficult things to deal with in a friendship. Whether it occurs amongst our relatives, close friends, or co-workers, when people slander us, the sense of betrayal that sweeps over us can feel overwhelming.
My Uncle Bob used to say, “Kenneth, gossip can ruin your day like a hole in your tights; it just keeps growing and growing till you’ve eventually got to toss them in the garbage”. Of course, as far as I know my Uncle Bob never wore tights, which only points out the depth of his knowledge on even those areas he never experienced.
Gossip and slander are two of the greatest weapons on the Internet;
—) If you don’t like what someone has to say, slander them on a blog or on a Facebook post
—) If you don’t like what someone has to say, gossip about them on various social networks
In politics, gossip and slander are par for the course. All the various political parties use gossip and slander so effortlessly it would seem these politicians majored in the subjects back in college. Turning on cable NEWS or reading print media, we see less intelligent discourse than we see personal attacks, unsubstantiated gossip, and outright slander.
Good friends of mine who used to be intelligent readers have succumbed to the fast food mentality of reading only social network posts and watching short video documentaries; as though learning five minutes about a particular subject gives them all the information they need to arrive at a fully educated position. Sadly, these misinformed friends take the minute amount of information they have, and then craft their own poorly articulated thoughts on subjects, which end up being filled with heavily cloaked posts of hearsay, gossip, and slander.
People do the same thing when they hear gossip; instead of looking into the matter more, or minding their own business, they take what little information they have and leap at traducement which then spreads throughout the community.
Last night I was part of a conversation with a blogger named Sahar from Montreal who made an interesting remark, she suggested that despite the massive amount of information available to us all, that a great number of people are suffering from an inability to understand and see truth. Perhaps it is because we live in age and culture that tells us we can know everything we need to know, by merely reading a Facebook post, or listening to a five minute NEWS story.
Whatever happened to deeper thought and reflection? Whatever happened to more serious study and devotion? Obviously they’ve gone the wayside in favor of our fast food mentality; we simply don’t have the time to invest in research, study, and greater learning.
—) Want to know about a President; simply Google their name and learn everything you need to know in 30 seconds
—) Want to know about a vein of science; Google the topic and learn everything you need to know in 30 seconds
—) Want to know about celebrity gossip; Google a name and learn everything you need to know in 30 seconds
It’s a dangerous mentality that has crept upon us. Without realizing it, we’ve entered into a Brave New World where books are cheaper then they ever were and more people can read then ever could; yet people have simply stopped reading the good stuff.
We’ve exchanged depth of understanding for triviality. We’ve exchanged studying history for watching Drunk History on Comedy Central. We’ve exchanged being truly educated in the liberal arts, for learning only what we need to know in college that will help us make more money in the job market.
The roots of gossip and slander come from our thirst to think poorly of others, and our laziness in taking the time to more deeply study and learn the truth. We have a ton of information at our disposal, but it is getting more and more difficult to know the truth.
Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee,
Categories: Culture & Society