The “good news” about gossip

Don’t feel guilty about engaging in office gossip, “As long as it’s not malicious, it can serve practical, positive purposes.”

A 2019 study found that workers gossip an average of 52 minutes a day. Most of the conversations “weren’t positive or negative, but neutral.” This chatter can help people make sense of their environment, says management expert Shannon Taylor, and check if they’re “perceiving the world in the same way as other colleagues and co-workers.” Talking about a strong-arming boss or a lazy team member can warn people about “dangerous others,” says psychologist Elena Martinescu, and bring colleagues closer as they “realize they have shared values and experiences.” Overall, Martinescu says, “gossip is a good thing.” (Bryan Lufkin, BBC)

My comment: It’s gossip, ill-informed, that makes social media so destructive. What is vaccine refusal but gossip dressed up as health warning, in effect killing thousands who believe it and endangering the lives of unsuspecting friends and neighbours. Mind your own business, I say, and live in peace with your conscience.

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