PC: socialidentitynetwork.com

Through countless judgments, lies, regrets, and false assumptions, I’ve come to a standstill in my thoughts about relationships—both with friends and family. The diffusion of information through rumors and gossip spreads like rapid fire, twisting simultaneously in multiple paths of communication, like minerals flowing through the roots of a tree. So common is this type of transmission, that any normal person would be tied into its complex passageways. If we were to look at the cause of all this, often times exaggerated information, we see it starts with one person. They hear that another person has done something out of the norm, something weird, amazing, disappointing, or disgusting—they tell it to someone else around them, who tells the same thing to another person around them, and the information spreads with an insanely rapid pace, sometimes reaching entire grade levels in only a few hours,

Especially in middle school was tougher than it should have been for many people, making them care about their appearance and think that beauty was the key to gaining momentum on the social ladder. What was fueling this was gossip that sucked away at our self-consciousness, envy, and fear.

We think that gossip is harmless, that as long as someone doesn’t hear something, they won’t be hurt by it. But it’s only a matter of time until the snowballed rumor reaches that person.

Plain and simple, gossiping is bullying, but an especially hard one to catch. There are simply too many lies that float around, whizzing past one student, transferring to another—like a multitude of diseases that everyone is infected with. Though we don’t hear much about gossip, it is a serious problem, a problem that is hard to solve, and a problem that exists everywhere. People often want lies to be true, and it is terrifying how easily they accept them.

In our school, there is a sea of complicated hatred, woven inside and out with piercing deceptions; all created by our classmates, siblings, friends, and even parents. And this is such a disappointment to all of us.

The next time you find yourself about to whisper something to your friend about the ‘gross’ kid in the back, take a step back and realize that you have no right to judge them that way if you don’t know a single damn thing about them. Think about the consequences of that our actions will take, imagine being subject to months of alienation, rejection, disgusted stares, and whispers. Imagine withstanding the pain of exclusion as our ‘friends’ leave you, convinced that the lies spread around us are true.

– Michelle Lee ‘22

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