Gone without a trace: Students turn to ghosting to end modern relationships

Art by Abby Fulton

Teenagers may not be afraid of ghosts—but many are afraid of ghosting.

Ghosting is when a person removes themselves from another’s life without an explanation or confrontation, and it often happens over social media. Many teens are resorting to the practice to end relationships they may not be interested in continuing, romantic or otherwise, according to school psychologist Cari Tyler.

"In this situation, it seems to be just one person wanting to detach from another person without any concerns for the person," Tyler said. "It's the easiest option; they don’t want to deal with confrontation. With social media, you don't have to confront head-on."

Senior Miranda Bingham has ghosted a potential significant other before, and said she was remorseful about it but felt like it needed to happen.

“A few years ago I was talking to a guy that I really liked and he ended up liking me too. When we started talking more, I started to realize that he was a little crazier than I thought. I didn’t want to be mean and cut him off, so I continued talking to him. He then started saying things that made me worry, so I ghosted him and haven’t talked to him since,” Bingham said.

Ghosting is often considered synonymous with romantic relationships, but it can also occur within friendships, according to freshman Rebecca Mevis.

“I had a best friend in middle school and we always used to hang out. But then she started making plans with me and then standing me up at the last minute. She would text me saying things like, ‘Sorry, I ended up having so much homework.’ She constantly started doing the same thing over and over again, to the point where I just ghosted her by not even talking to her. She tries to talk to me at school but we haven’t really spoken since I pulled away,” Mevis said.

Tyler said that though ghosting may seem like the easiest way to end a relationship, it isn’t always considerate of the person on the other end.

"I think from my perspective I would consider it rude. But that's just who I am, it's so weird to me because, since they introduced social media, I didn't have that when I was growing up,” Tyler said. “When you're breaking up with someone do not ghost them or do it through text. At least talk to them on the phone or do it in person. It’s important to give them that respect.”


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