Gossip and language
According to recent research, gossip makes up about 80% of human language interactions, and it is possibly one of the things that separates humans from other animals.
Researchers suggest that language developed mainly to share social information, i.e. gossip, and has enabled humans to build larger and more complex societies than other creatures. Animals such as apes spending a lot of time grooming each other and this limits the number of individuals they can interact with, while humans use language as a form of “vocal grooming” and are able to keep up with far more individuals.
In Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language Robin Dunbar makes a similar case, and estimates that the optimal group size for humans in about 150.
How much time do you spend gossiping?