Be Careful with Your Words; Gossip Can Ruin a Reputation

If you’ve been on the internet in the past two months, you have probably heard of a show called WandaVision. On the off chance you haven’t, it’s an MCU (Marvel Comics Universe) show starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany as Wanda Maximoff and Vision. It starts off as a sitcom that moves into a drama when other forces come into play. It has also been the victim of rumors and gossip, ultimately leading to many fans’ disappointment in the season finale. Rumors and gossip can ruin the reputation of any human enterprise.

If you have heard of WandaVision, there is a significant chance you have heard many rumors and much gossip about the show. Speculation has always been human nature, but social media amplifies and expands the speculation. Our confinement due to COVID-19 has driven people to social media for human interaction in any form. Gossip and rumors provide for great entertainment, and the hype around a television show only grows with such social media activity.

For example, people dissected the events in the show and concluded (wrongly) “This detail proves this character is Mephisto,” who is basically the Marvel version of Satan. People also decided certain actors would “show up and play this character,” after something Paul Bettany said about “an actor he’s always wanted to work with,” which led to several actors being mistakenly added to the cast list and creating high anticipation.

I decided at the last minute to change this post because the finale aired and, without spoiling anything, many people found themselves disappointed. Instead of being disappointed about what happened in the episode, however, they were disappointed about what didn’t happen. People believed the rumors to be true and were thus disappointed that what happened didn’t meet their expectations. In today’s environment, that disappointing news spreads rapidly, and ultimately damages the reputation of the target, perhaps beyond repair.

Next time, before you spread a rumor, take a moment to think about what you are doing. If it can be this detrimental to a large human enterprise, consider how much worse it can be for a single person.

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