Rumor Has It

As high school students, we know what rumors are. Either we’ve been a victim of blatant lies that everybody seems to believe, or we’ve spread the falsities ourselves. But what we don’t know is why they start and why others choose to believe them. We hear about the so-called secrets nobody wants others to know, from who got suspended to who hooked up with who. It’s impossible to escape the cycle of never-ending lies told over text on Snapchat or by the friends who meet up in the handicap stalls. It has gotten to the point where gossip is a part of a casual conversation for most of us, something we’ve grown so accustomed to,  that we don’t even notice we’re doing it. Many of us may not like to admit it, but we like talking about other people’s lives. It’s a lot easier for us to gossip about someone else’s spring break fling than face our own love life, or talk about who got suspended rather than talking about how you failed your chemistry quiz. We asked students at East to anonymously share what they think about rumors and how they’ve been affected by them.

“Someone was going around telling everyone that I did stuff with a guy while I just started dating someone else. It was a really rocky start because we had just started dating and we didn’t really trust each other yet so it was rough, but then it just kind of got better. He started the rumor because he didn’t really have anything better to do and he wanted attention from other girls.”

“I hear rumors all the time. I walk into first hour and I hear rumors, then you walk into lunch and you hear another one. It’s literally everywhere. Like in the bathroom too when you’re just trying to go to the bathroom and you hear other people talking about it. You feel awkward about it because you’re not even trying to eavesdrop but you’re still hearing it. Rumors are everywhere.”

“I think that there are a lot of reasons why people can start rumors. I always think people have a motive for starting things, and I don’t think anyone starts something for fun. I think that they spread like crazy, especially in high school because people like to talk about other people. That’s just human nature. Wanting to gossip is a normal thing, but not a good thing. It’s a really bad thing that we’ve taken to another level. It can ruin peoples lives to a certain extent and it can really hurt people to a certain extent.”

“My experience is basically that boys made up stuff, and I’ve actually lost really good friends over something that wasn’t even true because of a rumor that was started. I was alone for awhile over something that wasn’t even true but it teaches and shows you the friends who you can always trust to be there for you. The rumor escalated quickly, though. I think people like to hear a more interesting story than what the truth actually was.”