Gossip hurts others more than students think


Brandon Roberts

Students at Faith Lutheran going about talking like they normally do. Many of the students look like they have normal conversations, when in fact they may start gossiping about other students in the school who do not know.

Brandon Roberts, Editor

Gossip at Faith Lutheran tears down self-esteem, but sometimes students do not even realize they spread it, or how they hurt others with what they say.

According to “Webster’s Dictionary”, gossiping means to have “a casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.” Just saying something about someone they did not confirm classifies as gossip. On average, 61 percent of students’ daily conversations revolve around gossip, according to the University of Florida’s “Interactive Media Lab”.

“Girls definitely start gossip,” said eighth grader Alexis Petculescu. “I would say about 90 percent of girls start all gossip around the school.”

“I know girls start gossip, when gossip is spread about my friends it really hurts their self esteem,” said eighth grader Jasmine Jung. “I think that 60 percent of gossip starts by girls and 40 percent of it is spread by guys.”

Some people believe that girls start gossip, when in reality the numbers do not differ on a big scale. The lab also states that 55 percent of boy’s conversations consist of some type of gossip, while girls conversations consist of 67 percent of gossip. Now, to put this into perspective, that means almost every other sentence in a man’s conversation classifies as gossip, and two out of every three sentences in a woman’s conversation classifies as gossip. Now to make this perfectly clear, not all people gossip this much.

Still, some students spread gossip without knowing, Middle School Counselor Courtney Burns gives more information on gossip and how gossip works.

“Students don’t notice what they are talking about while talking to other groups. They say things to keep the conversation going, even if it involves putting down someone’s selfesteem by telling lies about them,” said Burns.

Students sometimes do not notice when they spread gossip about other students. School Counselor Elaynne Washington gives advice for students to help with accidentally spreading gossip about others.

“I always tell my students that come in here for gossip problems that for every bad thing you say about someone, say five good things about them,” said Washington. “Most students have so many bad things they cannot say that many good things about them. It puts things in perspective.”

Putting things in perspective helps students see how much they can hurt others. If all their groups of friends only know negative things about the person they talk about, the person will not make many friends.

“When coming to a school, students hope to make lots of friends. When they are having trouble, it can really tear down their self-esteem,” said Burns.

“One of the only things I give out detentions for is gossip,” said Washington. “It’s purely unneeded and everyone is better off without it.”

To see the PDF version of this article, click or tap here: Gossip Story