Thinking About Speaking | Detriments of Gossip And It’s Permanence On The Web

by redpillpapa · 1 comment

in Character,Education

After reading a piece about the effect of gossip on our culture and the way that it affects the way our children speak and interact, this article suggests that we teach our children to ask three questions before we say something to or about someone else:

1) Is it kind?
2) Is it True?
3) Is it necessary?

The author writes: “These three questions have been around for centuries, attributed to Socrates and Buddhist teachings, and linked to the tenets of Christianity and the Jewish prohibition on “lashon hara,” or evil language. But now, in an age of cultural shrillness and unrestrained rumor-mongering on the Internet, these three questions (or variations of them) are finding new adherents. In schools, workplaces, churches, therapy groups—and at kitchen tables—the questions are being used to temper one of the uglier human impulses.”

Additional questions to ask are suggested: Is it hurtful? Is it fair? Is it useful? Is it harmless? Will it improve on the silence?

Another way to look at things is put forth: “Treat everyone the way your mother would want everyone to treat you.”

>>Young people especially are at greater risk today of being damaged by gossip, given the growth of Web sites where students leave cruel, anonymous postings about their peers. “In the past, what took the sting out of gossip was that it was impermanent, localized and would disappear with fading memories,” says Daniel Solove, a professor at George Washington University Law School. “Now gossip is everywhere and permanent because the Internet doesn’t forget.”<<

Link to article on WSJ “Before You Gossip, Ask Yourself This …”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

redpillmama January 7, 2010 at 12:59 pm

RP Papa, I love those three questions, and wish i were better myself at holding my tongue, especially on the “necessary” part. This whole gossip thing is a good thing to consider, and guess where kids learn it first? It also falls in with what is described as “mean girl” behavior, covered in Packaging Girlhood I think, and also an obviously underlying theme in the movie Mean Girls — which I recently saw, and which I came to see is way more than just a gratuitous snark-fest starring LiLo. Tina Fey wrote the screenplay based on the book Queen Bees and Wannabees — another good one for the Red Pill Parent library, methinks.

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