Tips and Tricks: Be Careful, Tea Can Burn

Everybody knows everything—but should they?


Kyra Arndt, Editor

Perhaps there is no better place than a high school to study the effects of gossip. Especially in a small, rural community where gossip is sometimes the most entertaining activity at our disposal. Gossiping is an age-old sin, and nobody is either immune or innocent of it. We all are familiar with the pains of being talked about, and yet, we continue to chatter away. It’s time to look into the reasons why we gossip, and then explore where to draw the line in hopes for a more peaceful life. 


Gossip has two sides. First, there is the more wholesome approach: perhaps people gossip simply because they are curious for knowledge. We want to stay informed about our environment around us, and we want to be able to support those who were wronged by others. Besides, spilling the tea can be fun—perchance gossip is just sport. 


However, I believe there are some darker reasons for gossip. There is a need to talk about others before they can talk about you—to get ahead of the narrative, so to speak. Gossip can also be a form of social punishment. It is the easiest way to tear down somebody who is different. The truth is, there will always be people who we don’t like out there, and gossip is the perfect weapon to yield against them. 


At the end of the day, the truth is undeniable: gossip can be harmful. But what must we do?


The thing is, I am not asking you to stop completely. Not all gossip is equal. In my opinion, gossip can be justified if it has purpose; for example, if somebody needs to vent about a situation they are in, they should be able to do so in a safe environment. Discussing the harm someone has done to you is different from carelessly spreading rumors or assumptions about somebody. 


It certainly is a case-by-case scenario, but fortunately, humans were blessed with an incredible sense of right and wrong. Be honest with yourself—is the gossip you engage with effective? At the end of the day, does it relieve a burden, or does it needlessly harm somebody? Reflect within yourself, consult your morals, and I’m sure the answer will come. If you come to the conclusion that it’s harmful, simply stop spreading the rumor. Don’t be afraid to admit you are wrong—otherwise, we cannot grow. If some of our friends are talking about somebody else in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, know that you don’t have to participate. You can walk away, or if you feel bold enough, you could confront them. 


Gossip is such an intricate part in our day-to-day lives, but it doesn’t need to be. It is time to confront our tea-spilling tendencies. After all, if you’re not careful, tea can burn.