Social Gossip

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When you come to the keyboard with nothing but complaints, gripes, accusations, anger, and you offer no real and viable solutions nor intelligent debate, you alienate. Worse, you come across as weak, trivial, and often as a joke. Except to those you agree with you but what good is it to exert your point of view to only those who agree with you? It’s akin to self-affirmations to the mirror.

People are brave behind the keyboard. 

My mother once told me, as I headed out for my first middle school event where I would be with my peers, unchaperoned, and on my own, “Don’t do anything you wouldn’t do in front of your grandmother”. Those parental tips stick in your skull.

I enjoy a spirited and smart debate.

One sided rants and opinion slinging without clear thought or factual backup is gossip. Spreading gossip is a bad habit that is hard to kill. Worse, you can hurt people, your peers lose faith in you, and it can destroy your reputation.

Social gossip is a reputation thief.


  1. Is POTUS on the mailing list for this good advice?
    (feel free not to post this or not to use my full name if you do – I don’t need to suffer the blow back from “those who only agree” with @realDonaldTrump)

    • Hello Paul –

      Thank you for your posting. President Trump is not on my mailing list. I did meet him once at his Mar-a-Lago home during a Cavallino Classic event as his lawn was covered with wonderful classic cars. I wrote this blog in response to all the negativity I see daily by people using social media in a less than positive way. My hope is that those who follow the Cars Yeah blog will read it and perhaps, before they post, pause and think for a moment. The photo I used for the post was a snap I took at Pebble Beach years ago and it spoke to me when I was writing my thoughts on the subject. Deeds not words, a wonderfully simple message. Social gossip is a reputation thief indeed.

  2. A big part of my job in the last decade has involved discussion forums and the ever growing channel count of Social Media outlets that allow anyone to be a self proclaimed “expert” on virtually any topic. Sadly, the art of the “spirited and smart debate” is fading faster than the art of adjusting the jets on a multi carb intake system of a 12 cylinder Italian car, or the art of shaping metal into the glorious curves of an Art Deco era French coachbuilt car using nothing more than hammer and dolly – or English wheel. Worse yet, I think (and there’s a hint!!) that it boils down to people failing to do something very important before opening their mouths (or banging away on a keyboard) and spewing nonsense. THINK!!!

  3. Well timed, Mark and well said. Double amen to Michael, nowadays people forget (or they don’t teach it in school anymore) to THINK before speaking or tapping away on a keyboard. Much of what I’ve seen on the news and heard in the last few weeks and months lacks another old fashioned characteristic, dignity. Communication should preserve the dignity of both the giver and receiver. People hide behind “free speech” or a “right to be heard” but they forget not every thought is worthy of being heard, has any value or relevance. Spirited disagreement which is articulate, thoughtful, kind, intelligent and necessary is super. Hiding behind a keyboard, ranting just to be heard, or doing things which as you suggest one wouldn’t do in front of one’s grandmother, truly do not add any value to anyone’s existence.

    Regardless of how one wishes to emote or act, another one of those parental tips, the old Golden Rule, will never steer you wrong. Something I had drilled into my head in various public speaker trainings was to always consider one’s audience. Who are you speaking to? How will they hear you? What are they interested in? If none of these are considered before speaking, you’ve missed the point of even speaking.

    T = True
    H = Helpful
    I = Intelligent
    N = Necessary
    K = Kind

  4. I’m so glad that I read your comment on Mark Minard’s page. I agree with you 100%! Gossip is like a Cancerous Tumor, the more you feed it the more you destroy yourself.

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