Ghosting is a regular occurrence that may happen to anyone. According to a survey of 1,300 people published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships in 2018, nearly a quarter of the participants had been ghosted by a partner, and one-fifth had ghosted someone themselves. Ghosting can be an effective way for someone to avoid commitment or to give you the cold shoulder. In some cases, it can also be a means of harassment or even violence.
What does ghosting mean? Ghosting is the act of deliberately failing to appear or communicate with someone over time. It can be done face-to-face, through text messages, emails, or social media. Often, there are no clear explanations given for why they have stopped communicating. It can be very hurtful and make you feel like you have lost contact with someone you care about. In some cases, it can even lead to violence against women. Women are more likely to be ghosted than men; some studies show that as many as three-fourths of all male-female relationships experience some form of discontinuity.
Why do people ghost each other? There are several reasons why people might ghost their partners including: differences in opinion about the future, changes in circumstances, or a desire not to deal with issues that are important to them. Sometimes people need time to think about what direction they want their relationship to go in, but without communication this is impossible to know.
A research released earlier this year in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships discovered that out of over 1,300 study participants, 25% had ghosted others, and 20% had been ghosted themselves. It's not even limited to romantic interactions. Employees are also losing their jobs due to being ghosted by their superiors.
Here's how it works: A person sends a message indicating that they want to spend time with you, but don't respond to other messages from you afterwards. This means that they're only interested in your company if it's profitable for them to be doing so. Ghosting is often used as a way to cut off contact with someone you don't want to see anymore, without having to explain yourself or listen to what they have to say.
Ghosting can be done in many ways, such as via text message, email, social media, even in-person. It can also be done repeatedly by one person towards another, or in some cases, between members of the same relationship.
In the study mentioned above, researchers asked participants about past relationships where they'd been ghosted. Over half of those interviewed admitted to having done it at least once, with some saying that it happened as much as four times per week.
It should come as no surprise then that ghosting is associated with poor outcomes including feeling depressed, anxious, and lonely.
Though humans have been disappearing for centuries, and Merriam-Webster discovered evidence of the present meaning of "ghosting" in 2006, it has just been prevalent in the last few years. According to a 2019 YouGov study of US citizens, 30% of them had ghosted a love partner or friend. That's about 49 million people.
That's more than most anything else on this list. It also exceeds estimates of how many people disappear each year (around 3 million).
Ghosting can be used as a way to avoid commitment or hurt feelings, so it's not surprising that it is popular with young people. A 2015 study conducted by UCLA found that almost half of college students had deleted someone from their phone without telling them first. The same study also found that around 20% of students had sent someone a message without reading, which shows that ghosting is common, even among those who should know better.
People ghost for many reasons. Some do it because they are still coming to terms with any emotional trauma that may have caused them to disappear before. Others may feel like they are being controlled by their partners and want to free themselves. Some simply don't want to commit yet again. No matter why they do it, those who have been ghosted believe that it's unfair, and about 50 million people agree with them.
Ghosting is a growing problem because it's easy and rude.