It's rare to find someone who isn't interested in other people and their lives. As the previous posts covered here, passing along some one's private business (or your own) is not good, but people would not be honest if they didn't admit that there is something definitely irresistible about listening to tidbits, or conversations out in public.
There are many places to indulge in the business of other people without hurting anyone online or in books. If you think about it, books are the ultimate gossip, because you get hints of people's lives, are invited in and get to share in all their dirty laundry.
Do you read People magazine or subscribe to entertainment news online? I do. Reading about stars' lives seems harmless and far away to me, though I'm sure they are not always thrilled to be in those publications. But how else would I know which stars are adopting, getting married or meeting hard times?
My family is currently addicted to Animal Crossing on Wii. It's always funny to see the characters on there talking about other characters. One asked my five year old son's character if he thought two other animal characters were 'lovey-dovey'? I had to explain what that is, and Josh said "ick". Then he asked why they all talk about each other? I said I didn't know. How funny to get a lesson in gossip from a family game.