If you are a social media user it is highly likely that you have been ‘ghosted’ at some point. Or that you have ghosted somebody yourself.
Due to the fact that we reside in the so-called Information Age, a good deal of aspects of our social lives are now transferred onto the realm of digital space. Logically so, friendships and romantic relationships are maintained and even first started on the Internet.
Honestly speaking, ignoring or ‘silently’ erasing somebody from your life is not a new, modern-day concept. Not at all. However, due to the constant ‘connectivity’ we experience as a society, the frequency and intensity of such instances are at a much higher rate than before. It is, consequently, considered more of an ‘online phenomenon’ by the general public. Perhaps due to the circumstance that nothing speaks louder than “seen” in terms of ghosting. If you know what I mean.
Nonetheless, there are different ‘strategies’ one could use to go about ending a relationship and it so appears that ghosting is a major one in cyberspace nowadays. Let us find out why…
In this day and age, we have the unique opportunity to meet new people who we would have never gotten the chance to the traditional way- through friends, family, acquaintances, or even work colleagues. However, without that ‘mutual social network‘, it is quite effortless to call it quits whenever suitable with no explanations needed. After all, that’s just a stranger, right?
At its core, we can all understand the simplicity and untroubling lack of conflict that ghosting provides users with. It is a mixture of ‘avoidance coping‘ with a dash of ‘mediated communication ‘. Or in other words, no inconvenient discussions needed all the while social media sends the message of your disinterest loud and clear. Sounds objectively practical, or?
Thanks to these factors, we have come to the understanding that ghosting is kind of the norm now. It is something we as a society expect from one another on a regular basis. Most of us have been ghosted while simultaneously a lot of us have ghosted people, too.
Who is more likely to become a ghost?
Ghosting is a reaction naturally expected from people who find emotional attachment difficult or merely just reject the idea of it. Nonetheless, there a couple of personality characteristics that could potentially be a telling sign of a ‘ghost‘. Such are the following:
- Having a mysterious flair: not sharing particularly much about oneself
- Being passive: avoiding conflict or intense, intimate conversations at any cost
- Showing a self-focus: on one’s needs, disregarding those of others
- Having a tendency to disappear: for an unspecified amount of time because of being ‘busy‘
- Unwillingness to work hard: this speaks for a tendency to just ‘drop everything’ if it does not seem suitable anymore
With a world of possibilities out there on social media platforms, it is almost inevitable for people with said characteristics mentioned above to disappear when interest or convenience is lost. On top of that, social media allows for a more ‘detached‘ form of communication, in which human contact is narrowed down to an open chat head, a notification, or a post seen on your feed. Hence, being inconsiderate of people’s emotions is definitely a damaging side-effect of this circumstance.
Is Ghosting Emotionally Cruel?
When ghosted, individuals tend to dig deep and look for the problem in themselves- in their own imperfections and flaws. Nonetheless, the deed speaks more for the ‘doers‘ rather than the ‘receivers‘. It is especially difficult for the more sensitive ones who have trouble dealing with uncertainty, as well as rejection. Moreover, ghosting is arguably considered as ’emotional cruelty’ by scholars in the field due to the pain and stress it can cause the people on the receiving end.
On that account, 3 helpful tips in such a situation are:
- To let go of the situation, as it would not serve you in a healthy way. You do not need an uninvested person in your life.
- To avoid trying to contact the said person (ghost) due to their shown lack of ability to communicate and handle conflict.
- To steer clear of stalking him/her online, as it would only fuel feelings of resentment and hinder your feeling of self-worth.
Lastly, you too should refrain from being a ghost yourself. Straightforward, compassionate communication is one we all need in life. Stranger or not, we all deserve our fair share of human decency.