Gossip Girl interview
Co-editor-in-chief Meghan Morris spent three hours interviewing the two girls behind the Gossip Girl [GG] blog. To protect their anonymity, the girls are referred to as Meredith Green and Brooke Sweeney. Here, only on Stoganews.com, is an excerpt of the interview:
MM: How did GG begin?
Sweeney: It was Sunday night, and we had this little idea of making a GG for the school. We both watch the show so we first started it as ‘let’s just see what the reaction is’ and we didn’t really think there would be that much of a reaction. Then people started terrorizing the blog. They were like ‘who is this…’ and cursing and stuff. They ganged up…and it got worse and worse.
MM: When did you decide to make the blog something bigger than a break from midterms?
Green: Everyone was creating a commotion about it and people were actually starting to talk about it. So we created this idea: we would do posts regularly because we wanted people to keep checking the blog. It worked to our advantage that the next day was a snow day so we kept posting through the day.
MM: What was your original plan?
Green: We tried to think of things off the top of our minds. We didn’t want to get in trouble with the administration, so we didn’t put any names…We decided to post for the next few days, and we weren’t exactly sure when we would finish it. We knew we would do a blow-up post at the end to explain everyone and what our deal was and try to convince them that our message. We thought originally that it could go on to Friday or Saturday
Sweeney: But then we got scared and wondered what they [students who threatened GG online] could actually do.
MM: Why did you create a final post on Wednesday?
Sweeney: Everything started going a little downhill–it was downhill really fast. We knew we were going to get some haters, but people were writing really bad stuff on the wall–paragraphs long like ‘you’re probably a stupid loser that sits at home on your computer’ and really mean stuff on the Facebook page.
[The girls then decided to put up one final post at 9 p.m., which they advertised on Facebook]
MM: What was the build-up like for the 9 p.m. final post?
Sweeney: They were freaking out. Everyone from the lowest social stature to the highest–everyone was crazy–every grade.
Green: The whole school united over one fictional character in two days. Before the 9 p.m. post we had 30,000 views.
MM: What was the initial reaction to the post?
Green: The initial comments back were brutal. Then we started to get inboxes–we got like 20 inboxes that said “this is really cool and I give you a lot of credit” and it was different people from different cliques. Then more and more [Facebook] statuses were good.
[Morris then interviewed the girls three weeks later, to learn what changed and what didn’t.]
MM: Overall, what did you take away from this experience?
Green: It’s so easy to get caught up in the crowd, versus one voice standing out. You have to do something out of the ordinary to make a difference. We’re all the same 2000 kids–you need to stir the pot to stand out.
Now we have a burden on us–I don’t want to know the gossip. It’s actually embarrassing–boys taking advantage of drunk girls while their friends watched. It makes me sick that all this goes on behind closed doors then people post in on Facebook to an anonymous person. We didn’t want to find out your gossip and post it.
Sweeney: I kind of miss it. We couldn’t have continued it–it would have been out of control. But the point wasn’t to continue.
MM: If you could go back, what would you do differently?
Green: I wished that I planned out everything. We didn’t predict it or know what we were doing until the second day.
MM: What changed in your opinion of ’Stoga kids?
Green: We’re the most critical kids in the world–at other places, they don’t care. What people don’t realize is there are people in the district without money and they can’t fit in. People are so critical that it makes everyone more insecure.
MM: What would you say to your detractors?
Green: Think about what the truth means: we didn’t distort things. They’re calling us bitchy, but they’re doing the same things. I’m just writing it down.
Sweeney: You don’t have to read it; we’re not forcing it upon you. People are looking for a distraction.
MM: What were the differences between guys’ and girls’ reactions to the blog?
Sweeney: All the guys looked at it differently because they deal with gossip differently. Guys thought it was the most entertaining thing in the world, but girls were enraged because they’re so superficial.
MM: Did this blog change anything?
Green: Looking back over three weeks, I think it’s so amazing how something grew to be that big and deflated so fast. I feel like it didn’t really make that much of an impact looking back, as much as we would like to think it made a lasting impression.
Sweeney: I don’t think that people will take initiative and change–that would be really revolutionary if that happened.
Meghan Morris can be reached at email@example.com.