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News you can use

india Updated: Oct 18, 2010 23:19 IST

Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The internet has become a source of utter confusion. Thanks to its democratic nature, these days everyone can have a say on any topic under the sun. This mind-boggling amount of opinion puts even the very opinionated among us on the backfoot.

Take for example, the "value" of gossip. Without any backing of multi-million dollar research, we could have told you that it is, like retail therapy, a mood-elevator and a couple of hours of exchanging silly notes with friends can be extremely good for the heart.

Gossiping is not a 20th century innovation: a couple of years ago Egyptologists uncovered hieroglyphics that contained sensational gossip about everything from "the baldness of the queen to the sexual orientation of the king"; or gender-specific: recently, American researchers found that men love it just as much as women.

But now a latest discussion note on the internet has left us a bit perplexed.

John Newton, head of Taunton School, Somerset, Britain, says that social networking websites are a "serious threat" because they encourage children to spread gossips.

To which we may add: why blame the children? Even adults are known to indulge in it.

However, we firmly stand behind the need for our daily dose of gossip. How else can we add some colour to our otherwise mundane lives? Without gossip, would any of the Page 3 and Bollywood magazines survive? Or for that matter, our beloved politicians, or political diary writers?

As for us, that daily natter with friends and family perks us up after a hard day's work. And, more often than not, it pays to stay in the loop.