Beliefnet
Everyday Ethics

Gossip.jpgOh the shame! I was caught, my ugly side bared on Google chat, saved to the “Chats” history for me to re-live the disgrace for eternity.

Today I fell victim to my catty side, as well as to Google chat.  I had five (yes, five) IM conversations going simultaneously in Gmail, and was gossiping about one window with another window. Window A was getting on my last nerve, so I thought I’d seek commiseration from Window B. Unfortunately, what with all the juggling of conversations, I copied and pasted the offending conversation straight back into Window A – caught in the act, indeed!


I’m pretty sure I broke several personal rules, ranging from ‘don’t gossip’ to ‘try not to lie’ (when called out on the copy and pasting, I instinctively went for ‘deny deny deny’).  What bothers me the most however is that I allowed the ease of IM-ing to relax my personal code of conduct. I would never share a private letter with a third party to mock and giggle over. And if I’d gossiped about this person in a normal conversation, I wouldn’t have repeated everything verbatim, I’d summarize. 

Maybe that’s nitpicking, but I feel as though I’ve crossed some sort of e-line by taking one IM conversation and using it as entertainment in another. After all, no one expects the casual words they toss out to their friends while chatting to be passed along. It seems worse than normal gossip because it’s a greater violation of privacy.

Am I being silly and over-thinking this? Perhaps gossip is gossip (and just as petty) regardless of the form it takes. Have you ever been called out in electronic form?

Image by Little Sweety

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