Ghosting is the practice of suddenly ending all communication with another person without any apparent reason or warning. It’s most often used in reference to social media or other electronic forms of communication. Although the term typically refers to dating and romantic relationships, it’s also used in Platonic or work situations. Although there are many advantages to virtual communication, the lack of face-to-face contact has contributed to an impersonal social environment. At worst, this type of social environment treats individuals as if they are disposable. Keep in mind that every time you ghost someone, you’re actually helping to normalize a behavior that’s ultimately unhealthy for society as a whole.
Why We Ghost
Ghosting happens more often when the two parties haven’t met. The typical scenario is that two people start talking through a dating app, have a few virtual conversations, and one person stops answering or initiating text communications. There is a train of thought among many people that ghosting and being ghosted as part of the dating game in the 21st century. However, a more mature approach is to be direct but kind instead of just disappearing. The other person is often left confused about what happened, and they may even blame themselves.
Many people ghost because they’ve realized that the relationship has no future. Although it is understandable to cut things off when you sense the relationship is going nowhere, you will be a better person if you resist the impulse to ghost someone. Besides needlessly hurting the other person, ghosting also makes you look bad. If you develop a reputation for ghosting, others will see you as too immature to be considered relationship material. This will ultimately be bad for your self-esteem.
Is Ghosting Ever OK?
Nonetheless, there are some very valid reasons to ghost another person. For instance, if you suspect that you’ve been texting with a predatory or abusive person, the best thing to do is ghost that person for your own safety. Those with bad intentions often hang around dating sites, and bad intentions don’t always mean sexual predation. Scammers sometimes use dating apps to connect with kind-hearted people likely to fall for hard luck stories and send them money. Others are merely catfishing for their own entertainment. Listen to your instincts if they tell you to cut off communication with someone for the sake of your own safety.
If you feel tempted to ghost someone, take a hard look at your motives. Are there genuine red flags that would justify ghosting, or do you simply want to avoid a difficult conversation? Even though ghosting someone may seem like the easy way out, you will be a better person if you treat people the way you would wish to be treated yourself in the same situation.