Secrets. Everyone has them, no one wants them to be known. Though it seems like a teenage girl thing, everyone has dealings with secrets and blackmail. When exactly does a secret become juicy enough that it can be used as blackmail? I'm going to break this down into a few categories of young to old:

- Stealing a toy
- Disobeying an adult
- Pushing someone
- Raiding the cookie jar
- Not doing a chore

For young ones, being caught in the act is a big deal. I'm sure we've all heard/experienced the classic "I'm telling" situation where another kid threatens to tell an adult, and the one caught begs them not to, likely saying something along the lines of "I'll do anything", which is always grounds for trouble.

Teenagers/Young Adults
- Crushes/relationships
- Cheating in tests
- School pranks
- Drug/alcohol use
- Private text conversations

Everyone older than these categories certainly thinks these matters are childish and trivial, but to those in these stages of live, they aren't. For many teens, reputation is everything. Katharine McGee takes advantage of this and puts her spin on it with the thousand floor tower; people with high status live on higher floors. She doesn't forget about blackmail though, so some relationships on the upper floors are a careful balance of secret atop secret.

- Adultery
- Gambling
- Illegal trade
- Illegitimate children
- Credit card usage

There are a lot of tv shows which cover these topics. It's always a great source of entertainment, blackmail and secrets. But should it really be so?

Laughing at the expense of others

Children are taught early on not to laugh at others. Blackmailing is a form of that, isn't it? The blackmailer is mocking a secret, making it a trivial matter when in the other's mind, it is their world.

Of course, bad people always do as they please. Secrets make a story more interesting so I don't fault authors and screenwriters for utilising this.

Why will people do anything to ensure their secrets remain unknown?

When you feel threatened, it seems more intelligent to stop changes from happening rather than controlling them. Wouldn't it be more sensible to remove the power someone holds over you? If you reveal the secret on your own terms, they no longer hold power over you.

What do you think about secrets? What's the best way to deal with blackmail?