What is it that's so appealing about gossip?
It's so attractive somehow, to get together in little groups and talk about people behind their backs. Spread information that is private or that they would rather not have spread about. Why do we do it? Is it to make ourselves seem/feel important, as though we're in on something that no one else knows?
I don't know and I've certainly done my share of gossiping.
We've had an incident here in the office recently where someone started sharing some information that the original person would very much like to have kept private. It was a matter of an overheard private telephone conversation that was then disseminated to one of the biggest gossips in the office and now the personal issue is all over the office.
And that's terrible. The people involved are friends. I can't imagine spreading information like that about a friend until they wanted it spread. What makes it worse is that the person who shared the information in the first place wasn't even being confided in. They overheard something that wasn't meant for them.
I've always liked the Islamic imagery of gossiping/backbiting being like taking bites out of the other person. The more mature I get the more it makes perfect sense.