Ghosting someone is so easy. It’s become part of our culture to just drop someone when you feel done and never speak to them again. Simply disappearing seems an easier option than having to deal with the tricky situation of telling someone that you don’t want to be with them. However....
We’ve likely all been ghosted at least once, right? If not, then we know someone who has. How does it feel to be on the receiving end?
When you’re the one ghosting someone else, it feels pretty great. You drop whatever problem you have with them and don’t have to deal with the messiness of cutting ties. The issue is that ghosting entails a certain lack of empathy for others. Isn’t everyone deserving of a reason? Deserving of communication?
In the digital age, we seem to have forgotten the importance of communication. Means of communication are always at our fingertips, and we never have to try particularly hard to reach out to someone, which means that we never have to try particularly hard to not reach out to someone. All you have to do is stop texting, stop direct messaging, and people get the point. But why has this become the norm? When did we decide that it’s okay to drop people without a second thought? The term “ghosting" has become so mainstream that it has no real negative connotation, but we should probably take a second look at the fact that our culture allows for people to become disposable.
It can easily be argued that some people are worth ghosting. Maybe, you say, they are a really terrible person, and they have caused you so much hurt that they are not deserving of a reason or a proper goodbye. While some people are certainly not worthy of your love or friendship, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t worthy of an explanation. Maybe your confession of what they have done wrong can help them to avoid the same mistakes in the future. We could all afford to recognize our toxic traits and learn to change them.
Imagine that you’re talking to someone online. You think that everything is going well, and so far there are no red flags or any difficulties. You really like this person, and see yourself spending more time with them, and you think they feel the same way about you. You text back and forth fairly consistently, until one day, you just don’t. You’re sending texts, but they’re not responding. You wonder, “What have I done wrong?" And you won’t ever get an answer. Not when you’ve been ghosted.
Maybe it’s easy to forget about what it’s like to be on the receiving end. Maybe it’s too easy. But the next time you’re about to ghost someone, stop. Think. Wouldn’t it be nice for them to have a reason? Wouldn’t you like to have a reason? Spending the time to give closure for other people may actually result in you receiving closure yourself.
Remember: people are not disposable.