But isn't talking about people behind their backs considered unfaithful, wicked, deceitful?
At UK's Cheltenham Science Festival, a professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University says we need gossip to pass on vital information about who to trust, and it helps us bond with family and friends.
“The most important thing that will prevent you dying is the size of the social network.” Rather than feeling guilty about talking behind someone's back, we should accept it as a vital part of human life, which might help us to live longer. Our social network has a huge effect on happiness and wellbeing.
This saddens me—not because of the information, but because I am without anyone to talk to. In one way, social sites like Facebook and blogging releases some of my need to socialize, but I wouldn't share any of the problems I'm encountering by being the main carer for my husband. I've got to hold my stress inside.
The Oxford professor goes on to say:
“The problem we have is how to maintain our social networks. Language evolved to allow us to keep the oil of the social network flowing, keep us up to date, and tell stories which is really important for community cohesion. Gossiping is just chatting with people and keeping up to date with the social world in which you live.”
A previous study from the University of California also found that gossiping can help society control bad behavior and lower stress. Source: The Telegraph.
A poll of 5,000 people, conducted by global research company www.onepoll.com, found men spend an average 76 minutes a day talking with their friends or work colleagues. Favourite topics include the antics of drunken friends, old school friends, and the most attractive girl at work.
Whereas women spend 52 minutes complaining about other women, other people's sex lives or their friend's weight gain.
A spokesman for Onepoll said, "Although they discuss very different things during their gossiping sessions, men and women agree on one thing – talking with mates, work colleagues or partners makes them feel like they belong."
I'll just keep writing. Using my mind by blogging, or creating novels, enables me to escape the confines of an aging body.
Now you've read the reasons behind gossiping, do you feel any better about participating?