Is Gossiping Ever Good?

America is a nation obsessed with other people’s lives. A visitor glancing at our magazine and newspaper racks or flipping through TV channels immediately knows where our priorities lie, and it’s not with dissecting world politics. Instead, we hunt for news about the latest troubled starlet and watch other people’s lives unfold via reality TV shows.Our fixation on getting all the celebrity dirt isn’t that surprising. After all, we learn from an early age not only to participate in, but also to enjoy, gossiping. Though talking about others is often labeled superficial and sometimes even cruel, it clearly serves an important social function. Instead of writing it off as idle talk, perhaps we should figure out what drives us to gossip in the first place. Read more