Ah yes, the marvels of modern technology. You can do so much and communicate in a way like never before. You can see when people read your messages, how long it took them to respond, when they opened it, if they're posting on social media while perhaps ignoring your messages...the limitations are endless and they also bring a new problem to the table.
Ghosting is the process (or lack of) when a person you have some sort of relationship with (friendships too!) suddenly cuts you off completely and ignores you without explanation, ceasing all communication. It's strange, but with new technology it's more obvious than ever before and it hurts more than it previously would have — and here are the signs that might be leading up to it.
1. They don't ask you about you anymore.
In general, they just seem uninterested. Often times, they won't talk about themselves either, because they don't want you to continually develop interest in their personal lives, which, inevitably, means they're cutting you out.
2. They never do anything first.
Whether it's texting or making plans, they're not going to be the ones instigating. You may find yourself reaching out to them repeatedly, sometimes without even realizing that you're lacking equality between you two. Sometimes it's hard to catch, but if you pay close attention, it's there and it sucks monumentally.
3. They're leaving you on 'Read' left and right.
You snap them, you send them tweets, you text them — each effort that would've been deemed normal not too long ago, all met with...well, nothing. They straight-up don't respond and if they do it's an unbearably long time after you've reached out (text them at noon asking if they want to go to out at eight, and they respond at 10...fishy) unless you ask them a question that actually needs an immediate answer. After a while, you're going to feel like you're talking to a wall (one that they happened to put up between you and them as a ghosting tactic).
4. You make plans...and they don't show.
And don't apologize either. They make it blatantly obvious (whether on social media through Snapchat or Instagram) that they are doing something else and completely disregarded whatever plans that you made. Did they even forget? Or was it purposeful? People who have a habit of ghosting generally cancel plans right before they happen too — as if they weren't aware of their commitment when they made it.
5. You see them around and they act like a casual acquaintance.
As if you weren't just in a mutual friendship or relationship with them basically yesterday, they act completely different when they run into you in public. Depending on their level of ghosting experience, they're either going to be really awkward or painfully calm and seemingly ignorant to the fact that they dropped you like they suddenly moved to a different country where they have little means of communication. In reality, they're still here. They're just putting what seems like hundreds of miles between you two.
6. It's like you don't even know them anymore.
If you do actually hang out or see one another, it's like talking to someone you've never met. That wall before closeness and mutual understanding has popped right back up and you often feel as if you're trying to get to know them all over again. It's uncomfortable and frustrating, especially just when you think you're getting somewhere and they abruptly stand up and leave with some extremely vague plans that were "made last week" but still just don't sit right.
7. No one has an explanation.
Your friends, their friends and everyone's basically clueless. Even as you look through your past conversations and encounters with Sherlock-Holmes level detective skills wondering "What did I do wrong?" you can't come up with anything. Chances are, you didn't do anything wrong and it's not your fault. They should be telling you "It's not you, it's me" because what on Earth could be wrong with them to just ditch you like that? As if you weren't a human being with emotions, right?
Ghosting is no new story, but with the rise of social media, apps and technology, ignoring someone has a whole new meaning because chances are, they're still doing something or posting something somewhere. I mean, it takes a whole other type of person to ghost someone and stay off of social media completely...who knows what's worse. If you've done this before, might I recommend next time putting in a little bit of good ole communication? I mean you'll probably still hurt their feelings to some extent but trust me, it's better than just not knowing.
Lead Image Credit: Global Panorama via Flickr Creative Commons