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Ghosting: Breaking up by shutting out

Ghosting is the new phrase for the phenomenon of breakingup with a partner by not responding to any of his or her contact attempts on social media, and it is quickly becoming popular in this generation.

Technology has been affecting every aspect of our lives, including dating. We can now make dates from the privacy of our homes with just the swipe of a finger in a matter of seconds. However, with technology’s help, breakups have now become a little easier and a whole lot less emotional.

Enter ghosting. 

The term refers to when one partner ignores the other on all social media, or anywhere else that can be used for contact, until they get the hint and leave the uninterested partner alone. The idea is that, eventually, the ghosted individual will understand that his or her partner no longer wishes to be romantically involved. 

Jane Doe, a junior majoring in nursing, said she is currently ghosting someone. She has blocked his number and deleted his contact information from her phone.

“I’m ghosting him because every time I have tried to end things with him, he finds a way to pull me back,” Doe said.

She described their relationship as verbally abusive and said this was the main reason she decided to ghost her ex-partner instead of breaking up with him face-to-face.

“It is not my preferred method of breaking up. Usually, the other individual deserves an explanation as to why I will not be speaking to them ever again,” she said. “However, I do find it easier to get over someone if you make it a rule as to never contact them again.”

Using this type of break up to get out of unwanted relationships seems to be the norm. It appears to be the preferred method because the partner trying to get out of the relationship never has to contact his or her significant other again. Therefore, he or she does not have to worry about falling into abusive patterns again.

According to a poll conducted by YouGov and the Huffington Post, about 11-13 percent of respondents have ever ghosted or been ghosted. However, Huffington Post said respondents between 18 and 29 were more likely to be a part of this trend than any other age group.

Julian Khani, a sophomore majoring in criminology, said he ghosted his high school girlfriend.

“When I got home (from our last date), I never texted her again,” he said. “She texted me for weeks trying to talk to me, and I refused. It was a two-year relationship.” 

Ultimately, for some people, ghosting can just be a quick and easy way out of a relationship that has no future.

Aurelia Shears, a freshman majoring in accounting, said she felt her ex-boyfriend wasn’t interested in her or their relationship, so she felt ghosting him would just make the break up easier and simpler. 

When she decided to end the relationship, Shears erased him from all of her social media accounts, stopped physically going out with him and put no effort into continuing their relationship.

The main downside to ending a relationship this way seems to be the uncertainty of seeing the person in public after ignoring them online.

“I did see him a few times toward the end of the year, and it was slightly awkward,” Shears said. “We just didn’t acknowledge the situation.”