Ghosting Culture: What it Means When Someone Casts You Aside

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Ghosting Culture: What it Means When Someone Casts You Aside

Jordan Shorter, Staff Writer

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“He believed in magic, like a child, and in ghosts, like a peasant.”
These words by author Laini Taylor in her 2017 novel Strange the Dreamer represent the sentiment that many feel in today’s digital world when they are “ghosted” by someone.

As a junior in high school, I am pretty well-versed in terms of social interaction within my age group. Our interactions have changed from when our parents were our age, and much of that is due to advancements in technology, specifically the rise of social media.

The issue I see as most prominent in this social media mire is ghosting.

As Jennice Vilhauer from Psychology Today puts it, “Ghosting, for those of you who haven’t yet experienced it, is having someone that you believe cares about you, whether it be a friend or someone you are dating, disappear from contact without any explanation at all.” This can be very hurtful, and oftentimes people never see it coming. Those who are ghosted are left feeling confused that someone who meant so much to them, could just leave their life in an instant. This occurs on a daily basis, and with the rise of social media, it has gotten worse.

The ability to block people on social media is a big part of how people exclude others from their lives. Being blocked is the main sign that someone is done with you and doesn’t ever want to talk to you again or being constantly left on “read” or “delivered” is a constant indicator that said person doesn’t want further communication.

Sure, ignoring people over time is nothing new. However, I have noticed a great rise in “ghosting” culture since I have been in high school. There are many reasons that one feels like they have to ghost another person. Ghosting may occur after a breakup simply because of basic lack of interest, fear of confrontation, or as a way to ignore someone after a disagreement. It is quite normal for people to part ways with others during their lifetimes. It happens all of the time.

What shouldn’t be normal is a complete disregard for the other person’s feelings. The closer the person was to you, the more it will usually hurt when you cut them out of your life. Ghosting leaves people wondering and questioning where they went wrong, and begins to make them feel insecure about themselves.

Everyone is different in how they respond to being ghosted. Some take time to recover from ghosting, especially if it was by someone very important to them. Others just ghost the person right back with no questions asked and move on. Ghosting someone who goes to the same school as you can be very awkward, because often you have to walk right past them as if you never knew each other. Again, some might not think of such encounters as awkward because they have been able to put it behind them and move on, but for others it is a painful task. It all depends on whether the person on the receiving end took it to heart or not.

PB junior Jessica Ogugua says that ghosting is fine because people are not beholden to one another. “I think ghosting is fine because nobody is obligated to talk to you or tell you why they stopped talking to you,” says Ogugua. “I have done it before, I justify it because I just didn’t want to speak to the person again.”

Others seem to this same mentality. They defend their actions as “ghosters” because they feel like they don’t owe anything to anybody. One of these people is junior Funmi Baruwa, who says, “If you ghost someone that you speak with everyday with no explanation it’s like what the heck, you know?”

Junior Marie Anne Kemajou says that although she herself has never ghosted anyone, she thinks that ghosting should only be used when it is really necessary. “Ghosting should only be used when necessary; for the most part it’s wrong,” she says.

However, she adds that she understands why one would ghost if they felt they were in danger with the person or if the person was being too persistent and you were no longer interested.
People ghost for all sorts of reasons. From just not wanting to talk to someone anymore, like Ogugua comments, or more extreme cases that involve safety, like Kemajou mentions, ghosting happens and people have to learn how to handle it.