Paranormal Activity: Getting “Ghosted”

By: Matt Reichenbach

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Sometimes I believe that Elon is haunted. Not by evil spirits or ghouls that run around at night terrorizing students, but ghosts – lots and lots of ghosts. I’m not talking about the typical ghosts you see in the movies or the classic bed sheet with eye cutouts on Halloween; I am talking about the recent phenomenon of ghosting.

According to Urban Dictionary, ghosting is “the act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date.” While the definition encompasses only formal dating, I take the word to mean any sort of communication with someone that is more than a casual interaction; because let’s face it, we’ve all experienced ghosting even if we aren’t in a romantic relationship.

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You know that person you Snapchatted for a while, thinking it was going well until they just stopped responding, leaving you on that God forbidden “opened” arrow? Ghosted. What about that person you ran into at the party and had a fun night with who promised to see you again, yet never did? Ghosted.

According to a poll at The Guardian, over 80% of millennials have been in contact with a ghost. With dating apps on the rise such as Tinder, OKCupid, and others, matchmaking is now synonymous with literally swiping someone out of existence in your life. Echoing what Jessica Samakow from The Guardian writes is that in this day in age, with texting and direct messaging being extremely important, we millennials value communication to an extent that when we don’t get an immediate response from someone, we immediately resort to self-criticism. Much like how we constantly seek new information from Twitter and Facebook, we love constant validation from the ones we hope to interact with on a more romantic level.

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Obviously, there are both positives and negatives to ghosting depending on who you ask, yet what exists at the foundation of ghosting is that with such a dependence on constant communication, the art of dating and matchmaking isn’t the same as it once was and our perceptions of such things have drastically changed as well. Will it ever change? Who knows, really, but I do know one thing for sure: in the words of Fifth Harmony, “You got that real love, that text in the morning, that real love.” That’s a motto I sure as hell live by.

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