Ghosted

As more types of social media become available, ghosting becomes commonplace.

Ghosted

She worriedly taps on her phone, hoping to see a message from her boyfriend whom she has not heard from in days. Sighing after seeing no new text messages again she sends one more message along with the other ten she sent earlier.

“Ghosting is the intentional act of ceasing communication with a person that you have an established relationship of some sort which can be friendship, romantic relationship, or an acquaintance,” school psychologist Kay Kelly said.

Ghosting happens the most on social media and dating sites, as it is possible to be in a relationship on platforms like this either without seeing each other in person or not knowing where to find the person.

“With the increase in apps and platforms that allow for anonymous communication to happen, it can create a disconnect that you are speaking to a real person and not just an unknown profile. The more you disguise a real person as less than a person, anonymous, a profile, don’t really know them, ect the easier it is to respond with behaviors that are hurtful to them. If you yourself remain anonymous or lean into a persona that is not 100% you, then you are continuing that disguise and can make justification that the relationships are not real and you don’t have to uphold basic courtesy for others,” Kelly said.

Similar to how people cyberbully others by dehumanization, ghosters can ignore guilt by thinking of the other person as insignificant and/or ignoring their feelings. People who ghost are able to do so without dealing with the consequences of that kind of behavior rather than other ways that people use to breakup.

“Some students might be able to move on; however, if the individual had invested themselves in the relationship it can be confusing and hurtful that someone isolates them completely. They could internalize the feelings and blame themselves or generalize the feelings that since this person did not uphold or reciprocate mutual feelings of respect that they are not worthy of respect as a person,” Kelly said.

When someone goes through this situation it can be scary and can cause them to worry at first. They would probably wonder if something bad happened to the person they were in a relationship with. When a long time of no responses or word from the other passes, the ghosted

party would have feelings of abandonment and would be likely to have aversion to future relationships especially the online kind.

Kelly also had advice for people going through the after effects of ghosting.

“Positive self talk is a good strategy for working through tough and confusing moments, like getting ghosted. It is good to reflect back and allow yourself to recognize your worth as a person and what you bring to a friendship/relationship. If a person was not able to reciprocate those actions back then it is okay to let that go even though it an important relationship at that time and work towards building relationships and friendships with others who can treat you as a person,” Kelly said.

“I would imagine ghosting happens in the earlier stages of a relationship rather than later,” school counselor Sally Sabata said.

By reason of, when in an early stage of a relationship both in friendship and romantic relationships, people are less attached so in the case of ghosting the ghoster will have a less difficult time doing so.

“When someone is unable to communicate a desire to call things off it can be a sign of social or emotional immaturity. Sometimes people are nervous or scared about the repercussions or the ensuing conversation that’s likely to happen if they break it off verbally,” Sabata said.

Due to the fear of consequences, the idea of ghosting may go through someone’s mind. While plenty of people do not choose to ghost, there are many who choose to. Social media and dating apps make this more likely to happen.

“We got together in 2017 and my boyfriend cut me off in 2019. We said goodnight one night and then the next morning I was blocked on all social media,” sophomore Taylia Ellis said.

Ghosting happens suddenly with no warning, and because of the lack of closure and lack of contact, the breakup is more difficult.

“I was really upset because there was really no reason for it. I cried a lot and if I were being honest it was one of my worst breakups,” Ellis said.

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Being ghosted is a difficult experience and is something that can happen to anyone in an online or offline relationship. Speaking with someone you care about and trust is a course of action that can help you through this difficult time.