What happens when you ghost someone?

Ghosting is the biggest problem of this century. It's also a sign of how comfort is destroying social interactions and the social fabric between people.
Jerzy Rajkow 4 min read
What happens when you ghost someone?

People ghost each other while dating - this is how it all began - but then, it has spread all over the society, because it's comfortable not to end a relationship using a conversation. It's comfortable not to tell someone in their face:

Hey, I don't want to see you anymore.

Everybody ghosts

And so:

  • candidates ghost employers,
  • employers ghost candidates,
  • employers ghost their employees internally (!),
  • friends ghost each other,
  • companies ghost clients.

I don't know how it is working in your country, but in mine - in Poland - people sometimes send 400 resumes and get zero replies. Not even a thank you. Because it's so difficult to reply to an email, don't you think? But it goes way, way beyond that. For example, companies, ghost clients also: I am a client of a law firm and the lawyer with whom I have an eight years relationship takes a month to reply to my emails. I usually get a reply after six or seven attempts at contacting him.

Ghosting destroys people's self-worth

I think it's a societal problem and it should be resolved. You can of course try to resolve it at a personal level by means of retribution: you can make a list of people who ghosted you, because one day you will use it against them - they will want something from you and it'll be a chance for you to ghost them in return.

You might say:

Oh, there is nothing wrong with ghosting, since everybody does it.

Really? Think about it.

First of all, ghosting in dating, in the job market or between friends - is a sign of disrespect. If you couple disrespect with atomization of society caused by social media and electronic communication services (marketed as better means to connect people, but in reality putting us apart farther away) - it's a very, very bad combination. Moreover, before texting, before Facebook, before the various text chats - you could at least rely on your friends to console you when someone ghosted you. You could rely on some kind of a sense of living in the same world, with other people, with your friends and neighbors.

The game for today is very different: if you send 400 CVS for 400 different job offers, each of the hiring managers that chooses not to reply to you is actually making a very, very small decision based on her or his comfort. But this decision gets added up on your side. One small decision on the side of the hiring manager can appear to be insignificant, but for you 400 not replied job applications can have a consequence on how you see yourself, on your self-worth. It can make you tip over from a state of depression to considering suicide, for example. None of those hiring managers, of course, thinks about that when choosing not to reply to your email.

A part of the process?

They think that it's part of the process. But if you add this process to what happens in dating (dating apps that objectify people, disrespectful decisions based only on looks, disrespectful loss of contact after one meeting), between friends (no reply for no reason, you ask yourself whether you did something wrong) and very often also in the family - you get the idea.

You might think now that it's because I'm not modern enough, I don't understand how modern communication works. If you think that - please, start blogging or maybe even start making TikToks. You probably heard that people are making millions of dollars blogging. Do it. People on TikTok have massive audiences. Try that.

A decent human being

Guess what? Time passes and you don't have millions of followers on TikTok. Nobody looks at your TikToks, you get 45 views at best. And of course, you don't make millions on your blog. Actually, nobody opens your blog.

So you buy Facebook ads, maybe Instagram ads - and still nothing. Just wasted money.

Add this kind of systemic ghosting facilitated by technology to the ghosting performed by other human beings in dating, between friends, in the family, on the job market - also via a technology that facilitates it. Do you see it? It's not a really cool image of the society.

That is precisely why I think ghosting is a very serious problem. That is why I also think that digital minimalism is one of the best solutions to it, since it promotes respect and using technology as a tool and not as a comfortable escape from normal human behaviours.

Please be aware of the fact that your small decision of ghosting someone will add to a series of ghosting that this person is experiencing and it can profoundly affect this person's life.

You can always choose to be a decent human being.

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