Where do you get your information? What or whom is your source? Does your source impact the reliability of the information? And if so, how and why?
Take this publication for example. Are you more likely to believe something is true because you read it here as opposed to The National Enquirer? Why? The National Enquirer has one of the largest newspaper circulations in the world, and the massive financial resources it has allows it to buy exclusive stories from people. Yes, occasionally, we read about someone suing the Enquirer for printing something false, but not that often, and this happens to other publications as well.
How about information that is passed on through word-of-mouth. Are you more likely to believe something that is said to you by a close friend or family member as opposed to a homeless person for example? Why? Is it because that friend or family member is more trustworthy? Have they ever betrayed your trust? Has the homeless person ever betrayed your trust? Chances are you never saw that person before so they wouldn’t have ever betrayed you.
It seems to me we carry around some pretty significant stereotypes when it comes to these things. In my opinion, ANY bit of information that we read or hear about is actually pure GOSSIP until it is corroborated. Why would we believe something someone says without doing some research to see if it is actually true? Have you ever believed something someone has said and later found it NOT to be true? I know I have.
I am also guilty of passing on information that I have heard from someone WITHOUT confirming it. Usually I do that because it’s something juicy and I have nothing better to do with my life than to pass it on and see how others react. I admit this behaviour is juvenile and often destructive, and my awareness if the first step to recovery.
What about you?
Here’s an interesting take on gossip…