Opinion: G-Blast #12
by Callie Walker and Kate Marinkovich
Published January 30, 2013
Attention Palo Alto Elite: Sorry to disappoint you all, but we’re not here to discuss your latest scandal (as much as we know you’d love it if we did).
This past Sunday marked an iconic 45 minutes for Palo Alto High School. A gossip blog titled Palo Alto Gossip Girl, a throwback to the newly deceased CW series “Gossip Girl,” hit the social media sites and was greeted by one of two ways: People were either outraged at the public slander or delighted to read about all of their peers’ newest escapades.
Most of them picked the latter.
Viewing the personal mistakes, or, perhaps triumphs, of a select few Paly students satisfied the twisted desire of many adolescents to willingly tarnish other peoples’ reputations. It’s the adoration of gossip that led this blog to popularity. So, to the people who were up in arms about this blog, and publicly advised this “Gossip Girl” to stop bad-mouthing her peers and delete her website, we urge you to rethink your actions.
By bringing attention to this website of rumors, you only made it more viewed, more infamous and more powerful. If you truly wanted to take away the website, you shouldn’t have constantly refreshed the page to see what the next blast had in store. Honestly, whoever discovered the website should have kept it to themselves, and this whole scuttlebutt would have been avoided. Simple.
Our theory is that many viewers of the blog, while they may have been condemning it in their Facebook or Twitter statuses (#controversy), were secretly enjoying it. And maybe, just maybe, some people were hoping their name would pop up under the next post. As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a little drama here and there? We’re pretty sure that’s what made “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” so popular. (Sorry Mariska, it wasn’t your ever-changing hairstyle).
We are not condoning the public humiliation of our peers. This blog is an explicit example of cyber-bullying, a widely discussed and condemned concept among the high school community, and we don’t encourage it. To be publicly put on “blast” for your mistakes is a traumatizing experience. It can result in depression and self-harm, making it a highlighted issue in our community. But think about this for a moment: Weren’t you all bullying the creator when you condemned the website and insulted her in your status? (For examples of these statuses check out http://pagossipgirlresponses.tumblr.com.)
We think this commotion gives Paly students a chance to reflect on their non-cyber actions. Is the gossip really different when published on the Internet rather than spoken on the Quad?
Gossiping, whether online or in person, is not a superb way to go through life. The repercussions of spreading rumors about people can be serious, no matter how it is done. Maybe it’s time for Paly students to take this as an example and change their ways. Take your own advice and stop bad-mouthing each other.
Admit it: you love gossip; we love gossip. And there’s nothing wrong with that; it’s tempting, we know. We also know that it wasn’t your desire to save others from public humiliation that made you critically retaliate against Palo Alto Gossip Girl, it was the intrigue of the scandal and your urge to be a part of it.
You know you love us. XOXO