Stop ghosting, and start communicating

By Gwen Langi, Pro & Con Editor

The time gaps between texts get longer and the messages get shorter. 

Conversations become dry and the responses come in slower until they’ve finally come to a stop and boom, you’ve been ghosted. 

Ghosting, suddenly ending contact with someone without an explanation, has become possible thanks to digital communication. 

A simple swipe to delete a conversation or a few taps to block a user serves as a comfortable cushion to fall on when we wish to cut off contact with someone. Some see it as beneficial because it’s quick and seems hassle-free.  

But people who do it fail to consider how it feels to the other side. We’ve become too comfortable being the ghoster while never addressing how the person being ghosted is affected. 

Plain and simple, ghosting is an unexplained rejection. You are left asking yourself where you went wrong or what you could have done to be good enough for that person. Whether in friendships or relationships, being left to question your worth is never a good feeling. 

School Psychiatric Social Worker Nayeli Gonzalez says ghosting is ineffective. “You guys aren’t practicing your communication skills with one another and not able to express your emotions which leads to miscommunication, more conflicts with peers and employers, and not being able to solve problems,” she explains. 

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Deborah Ebrahemi, another psychiatric social worker, believes ghosting is a gateway for misunderstanding. “It leads to a lot of misunderstanding and anxiety that comes along with it,” she said. 

“Because when somebody ghosts, the other person is left with ‘Okay, what happened? Did I do something wrong? Could I have done something differently?’ They kind of retrace everything without getting a clear answer.” 

If you’re debating whether to ghost someone or not the answer is simple: don’t do it. The amount of hurt you’d cause the other person isn’t worth it. Having an honest conversation and explaining why you’ve chosen to cut ties is the mature alternative that helps to avoid future tension. 

Choosing to be mature and communicate doesn’t only help ease the pain on the other person but also prepares you for the real world. 

Blocking and muting someone on social media is easy but being confronted with real-world situations is a different story. Results from a survey conducted by BankMyCell shows the number one reason that both men and women ghosted someone was to avoid confrontation. It can be difficult to start communicating effectively if you’ve never done so online or offline. 

The practice of ghosting isn’t just occurring within teens and young adults who pursue relationships with one another. It’s also been recognized between employers and employees but the tables have turned.

The familiar routine of job applicants anxiously waiting for employers to call them back has been reversed with companies across the country experiencing the silent disappearance of job applicants. Employers are unhappy with the no-show interviews and voicemail answering and applicants assume that employers will recognize their lack of interest. But we can’t read each other’s minds and the logical thing to do if you have something to say is to say it. 

The only situation where ghosting has little emotional impact is when it’s done with mutual terms. Cristy Quintero recalls a time where there was unspoken but mutual understanding between her and a friend. “She was annoying and I was happy she ghosted me. It was a mutual thing” she said. 

You can’t hide behind block buttons forever. If people continue to ghost, they can look forward to nothing but confusion and misinterpretation caused by their poor communication skills. Technology will have turned us into cold beings who can’t communicate properly.