I've noticed a new phenomenon amongst friends, employers, family, and wannabes: the non-secret secret (NSS, for short). In the past month, several people have beckoned me close to them to whisper something naughty, impolite, or a bundle of TMI that is allegedly top-secret. It is often done in an urgent whisper with instructions not to tell x, y, or z, or fervent glances to make sure passersby aren't listening. However, not long after, I find out that x, y, and z already knows, or are shortly informed and told not to tell me, or that this special nugget of information is useless and/or being fucking written in the sky via airplane or something.
What is going on?
I am currently toying with the following hypotheses:
1. NSS is a form of manipulation designed to create the illusion of a friendship where there isn't any at all or, perhaps, where one desires a friendship.Maybe it's a combination of all three. But where do we go from here? Should I assure him or her I don't need a NSS to be friends in order to further explore hypothesis #1? Should I start a running list of NSSs of my own to throw back, in order to rule out the dangers of hypothesis #2? Or should I play into it because, hell, who doesn't like some good ol' gossip even if it is useless a la #3?
2. NSS is a form of manipulation designed to basically get you to disclose things that really are secret for "free."
3. NSS is simply a way to waste time, gossip, be catty, etc.