The word “gossip” to me is like dropping the f-bomb. Gossip is something that happens everyday, all day, and we just can’t escape it. It used to be that gossip travelled around your office or town, but now, thanks to the Internet, it is a viral entity.
The Internet allows for online gossip in all forms. Gossip through social media is probably the most apparent source on the Internet. With the rise of the public sphere online, gossip can thrive to its upmost potential. This potential includes the spread of gossip on an international scale in seconds. If someone desires to spread a rumor all they have to do is type it into Twitter or another source, and BAM the gossip starts to spread on an unlimited boundless rampage that can make it from Canada to China at an overwhelming speed. Twitter, Facebook, and blogs, to name a few are both a great and wretched source of gossip.
I personally use Twitter as my main source of obtaining gossip. If I hear a rumor going around I use Twitter to both read the gossip Twitter feeds and to go on the particular source’s Twitter to see what they have to say about clearing up any rumors. For example when the big explosive gossip came out that Beyoncé lip-synced at Obama’s Inauguration (Oh-my! What a sin! Insert rolling eyes here), I first saw all of the gossip on twitter and immediately I went to Beyoncé's Twitter to see if she said anything about it.
The funny thing about gossip is that it is 50/50 true or false (gossip is not always a rumor!) I think that is why most of us thrive on it, because there is a possibility that it could be very true but then a mystery that it may be false and we must hunt for the truth. Of course gossip existed before the Internet but it was less easily accessible before online use. Before the Internet we could chose to go out and buy a magazine and buy into the gossip. Now gossip is free and viral, choosing to buy into gossip is not the case anymore, but rather the moment we open up a browser that enables us to interface with the world wide web, which for most of us this happens many times a day, we are bombarded with gossip.
Mathew Ingram in If you think Twitter doesn't break news you're living in a dream world describes news as a process because it goes through many media outlets and the mainstream news outlets have now expanded to social media platforms such as Twitter. Even if the source is not “credible” that doesn’t matter to many people anymore, because gossip that is spread through social media spreads like wildfire and if more than one Twitter feed is saying it, it must be true, right?
If you choose to be on social media, gossip is inevitable!
Cheers from another participating citizen of media,