The truth about rumors is this: they can be a very useful tool for keeping you informed about important things. I’ve known many people over the years that have become frustrated with the “myths” that get tossed around at them. People are always looking for reasons to act, and when you are afraid for no reason, rumors become a very useful tool. They are used to get people to take action. Rumors also serve as ammunition to counter acts of violence that are planned and executed. So it’s important to understand the difference between a rumor and fact.
What is a rumor? A rumor is simply a “tall tale of reasons of actions circulating in regard to an object, situation, event or matter in general concern with a person.” They can also be called “rumors” and ” urban legend,” but that is stretching the definition a bit. Just because the rumour may not be entirely false doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth your time to investigate it further. The only way that you can tell if a rumor is true or not is by performing your own investigation. You can learn all kinds of useful information from just what the rumour says.
There are two types of “good” or “bad” rumors: factual and rumours. For example, the “God is testing my kid” and the “man is going to kill my spouse and me” are both factual statements. On the other hand, the “life after death” or “eternally growing old” type of rumour is probably false, and therefore ought not be entertained. It is an exaggeration to suggest that the “factual” rumours are bad, but that they can also be taken as false.
The best way to recognize a true rumour is to perform your own investigation. You should collect as much information as you can from every single source you can think of, including all newspapers and magazines, television programs, radio programs, and Internet sites. Write down all the information that you have, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Go through everything and notice the general pattern. It is likely that a lot of the gossip that you have collected is true. If there are a few false rumours mixed in with the true ones, the overall rumour count will probably be quite low.
If the rumour you’ve gathered is entirely true, then there is a good chance that the rumour is mostly a result of social cognition. Most of the time, people accept things without even thinking about them first, and this results in large amounts of gossip entering into the public arena. The strength of social cognition is related to the extent to which we can distinguish between what is true and what is false. This means that not only do people tend to believe in the most outrageous stories, but they also tend to view the world in very particular ways. The same goes for the falsity of certain rumours: the more of an effect a rumour has, the stronger it will become, even if it is completely untrue.
Rumors, like all types of strategic communication, are designed to influence our behaviour. However, unlike many other types of strategic communication, the effectiveness of a rumour depends very much on its effectiveness. In a way, the success or failure of a Rumour Bomb depends heavily on how effective the rumour is. If you think it has been used effectively, then you are more likely to accept its existence and use it yourself.