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Tiara Garland Professor Susan Lago English 1100 37 22 October 2013 Rumors Rumors are most commonly bound

to happen with teenagers. In todays time rumors start on social media because it spreads faster and more individuals will see it. Whereas in the past fabrications were passed from person to person. Society cannot believe everything read or heard on social media. Falsehoods cascaded on the internet have caused a lot of problems such as teenaged bullying, increased rates of suicides and elevated rates of teenaged depression. Similar to the telephone game, rumors usually start as one person confiding in another and then the lies take on a life of its own. My generation mainly spreads rumors via text message and or social media. Todays teenagers rely on the internet for everything. If juveniles have a problem with their best friend, they post it on Instagram. When teenagers are having a problem with their boyfriend or girlfriend, nine times out of ten they will tweet it. When parents are driving teens insane, teens post a status on Facebook which vents their frustration. Diaries are a thing of the past; now we expose our feelings for the world to see. Rumors caused by social media tend to spread like a contagious disease. Once something is posted online, it stays online forever. For instance, if I post a negative comment, my friends will be able to view it, repost or make additional comments; it is a never ending cycle.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where our peers would rather degrade their rivals instead of encourage their companions. A simple one line post such as Did you hear Jada stole something from Forever 21? can tarnish a reputation. With regards to the telephone game, if Malik reads the post about Jada stealing and tells it to Bryanca the game then begins. This statement is not verified by anyone and becomes exaggerated as it travels from person to person. Once Jada receives word of her damaged reputation, she seeks retaliation and decides to bully the person that initiated the post. With this intention, Jada purposely shoves Tameka every chance she gets. She tweeted that Tameka was having random sex with several guys in their school. Once Tameka received word of this gossip her mannerisms change. She began to become withdrawn from her friends, lost interest in things that once excited her and often thought about suicide. Aware of Tamekas sudden change in behavior her parents took action. Tamekas physician prescribed medication for her depression. However after several months of relentless torture from Jada the medication seemed not to be effective. Tameka decided shed be better off dead, if she were dead she would not have to face her antagonist. Tameka then made the decision to overdose on her prescription pills. In my experience, teens tend to accept negative opinions over positive opinions. In the Rumor Cascades, Barbara is going to go along with what Andrew says about Senator Jones because thats what makes sense. Andrew believes Senator Jones committed a scandalous act. If Carl knows Senator Jones true Personality, its his choice if he still goes along with Andrew (Sustein389). People often trust someone elses judgment, instead of trusting their own opinion. Although Andrew did not kickoff the rumor via the internet the outcome still led to a group of followers.

Moreover, Susteins argument was an example of people jumping in the bandwagon. Even if others know the truth, they still follow along with the rumors. In agreement with what Sustein says, no matter how convincing its sounds one cannot believe everything one hears. Sustein also mentioned sometimes people believe rumors because other people believe them. But sometimes people act as if they do (Sustein392). As stated, The multiple views about AIDS and the attack of 9/11 are products of social interactions and in particular of informational cascades (Sustein392). When 9/11 happen no one knew the exact reason behind the attacks or how many people died in the attack. The masses relied on hearsay until there were news-worthy facts. To put it briefly, rumors can be more harmful than we think. It could lead the demise of teenagers. Although Rumor Cascades, is not regarding teenagers specifically it is relatable because Ive had many rumors spread about me on twitter and all the people I thought were my friends believed it. The rumor was I called this girl phony, I said she was ugly, I stole her ex boyfriend who was currently my boyfriend and I wanted to fight her. The whole rumor was childish and I didnt want to feed into it. My peers kept pushing me to fight the girl but I thought it was pointless; what are we fighting for, if none of it is true. I still didnt know who started the rumor until I talked to the girl it was regarding. Later on that week, I found out she started the rumor because she was jealous of me. She finally told everyone that she started the rumor. I realized that it was so easy for teenagers to be convinced that everything on social media is true. Teenagers assume instead of trying to uncover the truth. Consequently, rumors are started due to personal insecurities. Often rumors are spread to make aggressor feel better about themselves, to be accepted by a group of friends, for revenge or just for attention. The mortal that sets a rumor in motion doesnt consider the aftereffect. A life

can be destroyed with simple statement. Once a life has been devastated by harmful vilifications, it will never be the same. Regretfully there may never be a solution to rumors and gossip. There will always be someone that thrives off the misery of another person.