Kristen Bell’s voice is iconic in her opening line of every Gossip Girl episode, “Gossip Girl here, your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite.” How many times did this show have its viewers certain that they knew the real identity of Gossip Girl was Jenny Humphrey, Eric van der Woodsen, then Georgina Sparks took it over then handed it down to Serena van der Woodsen, then the real Gossip Girl took it back. Through all the drama no one ever expected the real Gossip Girl to be, WARNING- spoiler alert, none other than Dan Humphrey, also known as “Lonely Boy” by Gossip Girl, who is himself. At the end Dan confesses that he started Gossip Girl so that he could be a part of something, the Upper East Side’s world. After watching the entire series I couldn’t help but ask, are we our very own Gossip Girl? Was our generation so obsessed with this show and the idea of Gossip Girl that we don’t realize that in reality, we ARE Gossip Girl?
In the show the only form of social media is the Gossip Girl site and Gossip Girl “herself”. She knew everything about all of the characters’ lives. How did she know all of this information? She was not stalking people, people would voluntarily send in “tips” of information about their lives or the lives of others. How is this any different from the “status” updates that we post or “send” into Facebook, or the pictures that we post on Instagram, or the tweets we post to Twitter? When the characters would look back into Gossip Girl’s past, they found their own timeline from freshman year of high school all they way through their college years and beyond. Our Facebooks act as that same timeline. From the day that we signed up and made our profiles to today we have been building a timeline, voluntarily telling the world about our personal lives.
How often has social media gotten us into trouble? We are so obsessed with letting people know or see what we are doing at all times that we often do not stop and think about the consequences, we just think about the “likes”. Now you might feel cool when you get 100 likes on your picture at a party doing a keg stand, but unlike on Gossip Girl, scandals do not always blow over. Though it may not seem like a big deal, that picture can come back to hurt you later, say when you’re trying to get a new job or make a good first impression on someone. If they do just a little bit of research on you in the database that knows you best, they will find years of first person documentation written by none other than yourself.
I am not saying that social media is bad. I myself have Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It is the way that it is used though that makes it good or bad. My dad asked me recently why we post things on Facebook and I couldn’t really give him an answer. Thinking about it almost made me feel silly that I partake in posting what I am doing at every second to let my world know that I am eating pasta for dinner. I am sure that everyone really cares what I eat for dinner. The part I enjoy is how easy it is to share pictures and invite people to events and other useful things like that. It cuts out the whole we are going to take a group picture but we have to take it 10 times so that we can take it once on everyones’ phones.
Again I am not saying social media is bad. I just found the similarities to Gossip Girl really interesting since I just recently finished the entire series. When used for bad we are Gossip Girl and we voluntarily put stuff on the internet that doesn’t go away that can hurt us or people we care about all for what? So we feel like we are part of something that isn’t even tangible? To be a part of a cyber world that then gives us something to talk about in our own real world? It is just interesting to me that we feel the need to connect in a way that almost is not real.
XOXO- Tragic Girls