SILENT whispers of the text variety are overtaking face-to-face scandal-mongering.
A recent survey reveals that women gossip for up to five hours a day, whether at home or at work.
And the survey, compiled by Firstsource Solutions, goes on to say that 33 per cent of women prefer texting to passing on the gossip directly,
It’s quite creepy when you think how many women and men are tapping out the latest gossip, maybe on you and me, maybe sitting next to us while they do so.
All this texting can be far more malicious than the spoken word, and once written down you don’t know where it will go or who’ll know what you said. Dangerous.
Men are not averse to a bit of tittle-tattle either. Unlike women, though, they often get half the story.
What had never occurred to me was the height of garden fences is causing more folks to gossip on mobiles.
“Garden fences are getting higher so they’re on their mobiles,” Duggie Usher, 73, of Plains Farm, told me when I popped into Humbledon and Plains Farm Workingmen’s Club.
He notices these things, and his wife, Margie, spending more time gossiping on the street. “Oh, yes, she’s very good at it,” says Duggie, who knows Margie and his four daughters love gossiping in the privacy of the kitchen: “They talk about everybody and everything.”
Why, of course – in the club. It’s all about “someone going off with someone’s missus and telling secrets”.
Peter Armstrong, 74, former club secretary of Hendon, knows how much fellas love gossiping about “anything that’s going on, who’s died and where they are going, and drinking if they go missing for a day”.
Hudson Thomas, 66, of Premier Road, added to that: “Any mortal thing.” And his wife? “She can’t keep quiet.”
Widower Ronnie Dagg, 66, of Polmuir Road, and drinking pal, Ken Mill, 74, of Premier Road, reckoned: “It’s these women that cause wars with their loose tongues.”
Time I went to The Barnes. Here it was a different story from Steph Brown, assistant manager: “They are terrible in this place for it, the men especially.”
But not Gary Mitchell from Fulwell celebrating his 55th birthday. He never gossips; daughter Charlotte, 22, a barmaid in The Grange, hears it all and wife Susan, 52, a receptionist, works in a real gossip shop.
She told me: “People tend to gossip about each other, but I’m very careful what I say and who to.”
Very sensible. And be warned, for as the proverb says: “Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you.”
What did that little bird say?