Where’s My Ghost?

In a time when traditional romance seems extinct and we are flattered when our crush texts us while the sun is still up it’s no wonder why cruel and unusual dating practices such as ghosting have become more and prevalent. Ghosting leaves us with questions that may never be answered and emotional bruises that can take a lot of time to heal. While your ghost might still haunt your dreams VALLEY is here to try and solve the question: why do people ghost.

Vogue contributor, Karley Sciortino, defines ghosting as, “a modern dating dilemma in which one person suddenly ceases contact with another, with no explanation why.” This inevitably leaves the ghostee haunted wondering why it happened. The main reason besides it being an easy way out is to spare feelings.

“It’s easier to let the person who is ghosted to think whatever they want. Instead of a guy telling a girl he doesn’t want to talk to her for some [lame] reason the girl can make things up,” says Tristan Williams, a Penn State junior who hasn’t ghosted before .

While guys may ghost to save hurt feelings, girls are more likely to friendzone a guy she is not interested in as opposed to ghosting.

“I’ll ghost if the guy is creepy… I am 100% more likely to friendzone someone than ghost.” Says Michaela Asaro Penn State junior.  

For the people who have ghosted in the past the biggest concern has been timing, as in has too much time passed that dropping off the face of the Earth is unacceptable? The common understanding among millennials who meet people on dating apps is that it is perfectly acceptable to ghost someone on the app.

The same school of thought applies to if two people meet at a party, hang out once or twice and then never speak again it is neither uncommon nor is it rude. It gets a little trickier for relationships that last more than three weeks and hang out more than two times per week. Dating etiquette changes and in that case it all depends on the person you plan to ghost.

A more philosophical question remains at the end of the day: what does ghosting say about us? Are we just tricking ourselves into believing we are being more compassionate for letting the other person believe what they would like? Or does this suggest that we as a society are losing sight on proper communication skills? A study published in The Telegraph claims that 11% of people would prefer to speak to people online or over text compared to face-to-face. The same study claims that 25% of the population socializes more online than in person, which could be damaging our interpersonal skills.

Perhaps if we as a society work harder on our interpersonal skills, starting with eradicating ghosting, the world would be a more compassionate, united and understanding place.