"Hey why haven't you texted back?" *read at 8:00 am*
hello??? *read at 9:24 pm*
In a world vastly dominated by technology, communication with those near and far has become facilitated by these technological devices. While our desire for social interaction is what pushes us to foster and maintain relationships with the help of these devices, why then have so many of us contracted the social disease known as "ghosting"?
With its implied negative connotation, ghosting is defined as the process of permanently removing a person from your life or, as they say, “cutting off” someone with no explanation. As the term suggests, the person doing the ghosting disappears without a trace.
It's mostly associated with relationships but is also a common issue in friendships. This can take place in the form of 1) blocking a significant other/friend on social media, 2) not returning calls/texts, or 3) no longer reaching out to said individual in hopes of never having to deal with them again.
You may be asking why this happens and the answer varies depending on the person.
Michelle Sircy, a sophomore criminology student, claims that people tend to ghost because “some people are clingy on an inappropriate level" and that “ghosting” is the last resort when people don’t get the “hint."
Being a victim of ghosting, Sircy said that being ghosted can be hurtful when the victims have no idea that they’ve done something wrong.
She believes that it's only excusable if an argument occurred or if the victim knows that she/he did something that merits being ghosted.
Another student, who wished to remain anonymous, stated that ghosting happens because we choose to hide behind our phones.
“Everything is done on social media...there is no need for face to face confrontation," she said.
Because bad news can be easily delivered at the click of a button in 2018, the student explained that many find it comforting to end a relationship/friendship over text without having to worry about the consequences. This same rationale can be applied to ghosting.
In an attempt to be considerate, two more students admitted that it's done to avoid confronting those who are “too sensitive” to handle the truth. Thus, ignoring that person in every way possible lets them know that their presence is no longer desired.
Some believe that women are more likely to be the victim of relationship ghosting because some men “don’t have the balls to say how they really feel,” said an anonymous female biology junior.
Ironically, a male student who wishes to go by the alias "Gingerbread man," said that he too experienced ghosting.
In his case, however, his girlfriend ghosted him to pursue his best friend.
He believes that “ghosting is immature” because it diminishes the respect you have for the other person and often leaves the victim in a dark place. "It's unfair," he said. "It makes the person feel insecure."
Overall, ghosting eliminates the need for honesty when faced with a difference of opinion.
The solution, however, lies in the way we choose to respond to problems said Dr. Pawena Sirimangkala, a Barry professor who bears a doctoral degree in communication.
“Ghosting is like taking painkillers. It’s a quick fix, but not a permanent solution,” she said.
Sirimangkala recommends a critical thinking approach to solving problems as opposed to rushing to react emotionally.
"It is best to ask the intent question, do we ghost to survive?” she said. "If intent is to retaliate, then it is an unethical decision to ghost. Technology shouldn’t be used to gloss over problems that require face-to-face interaction." layout