Which Generation Ghosts the Most?
And How Not to Be Haunted
Maybe online life just makes it too easy to ghost people. After all, with just a swipe you can vaporize out of someone’s life.
But does that make it right? It depends. If you ever want to have meaningful relationships, it’s definitely not the smartest habit to have.
Only if someone is incredibly toxic is it perhaps wise to disappear, and that’s not ghosting, that’s being safe. But more often, people are ghosting quality people just because something got … cringe … uncomfortable.
Too Much Comfort Can Mess Up Your Game
Make no mistake, something is happening. There’s an estimated 10 million more singles today than there were in 2010, whether by choice or not.
If they don’t change, it won’t bode well for the stability of future relationships.
Growing up Gen X, we had other terms for ghosting: “burning a bridge,” or getting “stood up.” These terms actually take into account the view of the person getting ghosted.
While often people think ghosting might be more comfortable for all, preferable to hurting a person’s feelings with honesty or dealing with drama, the opposite is true.
Once things are shared, miracles can happen. But in the dark, ghosts haunt: “After being ghosted, the mind can go to a dark place. A person might lie awake at night going over every conversation searching for where they messed up.” said writer Savannah Tate.
How People Used to Break Up, With Personal Story
A survey found 80% of millennial’s have been ghosted. And while they’re not the first generation to experience this, it’s happening now more than ever.
Here’s how it used to go down as young Gen X’er…
I was dumped at the age of 16 by a beautiful girl who radiated light. You see, I started taking her for granted, among other things, and one night she gave me a “Dear John” letter.
She cried as she gave it to me.
I cried later on when I read it. Damn, I really did (puppy) love her.
I still have the letter (shhh).
She told me straight-up how she felt so I could know her side and fully absorb the message, the lesson, and begin to get over it.
It was good for her. It was good for me. It made us both stronger, smarter people.
On the other hand, when you ghost someone, you miss the chance for evolution, for growing, and instead simply plunge someone into uncertainty.
You don’t figure out how to work through complicated problems.
You don’t realize how to communicate so that future lasting relationships can be built and sustained, all because of a lack of confidence of what to say.
When We Met Face-to-Face
In pre-iPhone days, people met because they went to the same parties, concerts, parks, things where physical bodies were present.
In the simulation we call social reality today, bonds are formed virtually. Is that wrong? No. Heck, I’ve met some of the most amazing people I know here on Medium, so I’m no exception.
Point is, when we’re all just meeting in Facebook groups, Discord chats, on dating apps and such, we can easily teleport in (and out) of people’s lives.
The ability to ghost someone is easier than ever, but that doesn’t mean we should.
Also, people are more likely to do dumb stuff online than in person. And when someone does something stupid (like randomly texts a closeup of a body-part, without being invited to, lol), then ghosting can be a common reaction.
That’s understandable. However, ghosting decent people because things got awkward will make it hard for the ghost to withstand the cringe moments of all real relationships, the high and lows that life throws.
You’re Being Tested, Right Now
Dating is a training ground, so is school, working your first job etc… If you’re constantly running away from challenges in those spheres, how do you think you’ll do when the real thing goes down? Like a marriage? Or a career?
By ghosting people, you make yourself too fragile for real life, because you never toughened up enough to be open and honest.
Win-Wins Are Better
If you tell a person how you honestly feel, with care and respect, that person is going to respect you in turn, a lot.
I know I still respect that girlfriend who gave me the break-up letter many years ago. I respect the hell out of her actually, and by the way we both found our soul mates and have been married for a long time with children.
Also, maybe you’ll meet that person you almost ghosted someday. Maybe your paths will cross unexpectedly, as karma often works. How cool that you ended it with solid communication and not like an insecure runaway.
To The Ghosted
Hey, I’ve been there. At first it sucks… Until you think more about it, then you realize it’s kinda great. Why? Because you’re on the high road. You aren’t the ghost, you’re the human. You’re more likely to develop a meaningful relationship than they are.
Let the ghost go howl into the night to bother someone else.
Because really, ghosting is about the ghost, not you. Take their cowardice as valuable info and move on. Maybe that person will gain confidence and reach out again. Even if one bridge is burned doesn’t mean a new one can’t be built.
Just don’t look back at old texts or check their social posts. Go mingle with other humans.