By Jolie Shultz
With the upcoming of younger generations, several social behaviors that previous generations have seen are getting a rebranding of sorts. Social behaviors such as gaslighting, ghosting and more are getting redefined, renamed, and thrust out into the spotlight.
“It’s been around as long as humans have dated,” said Hutchinson Community College sociology professor, Kim Newberry. “We have different technology now and so it’s done in a different way … We have so much more access that it seems strange when all of a sudden we can’t get ahold of them, thus comes the term ‘ghosting’. I think the term is new but the concept is nothing new.”
Urban Dictionary’s definition of ghosting reads “the shutdown/ceasing of communication with someone without notice.” Hayden Laymon, a sophomore from Lyons, describes ghosting as dropping somebody, usually at an unexpected time.
“It sucks but sometimes it’s just not meant to be,” Laymon said. “I think there could be better ways than just ghosting someone but it is what it is.”
The effects of ghosting aren’t just in a person’s pride, but in their mental health as well.
“If you were to ghost me, I’d be thinking ‘What did I do? Did I do something wrong?’,” Newberry said. “And when we have these little slights in our relationships, sometimes they build up and then we take that into our next relationship. And sometimes those experiences then turn into insecurities.”
Newberry pointed out that one insecurity that could potentially come along with being ghosted is the thought process of, “What if this happens again?”
With how common ghosting seems to be, most people have experienced several doses of ghosting.
“I’d say I’ve been ghosted three times,” Laymon said. “I’d say it’s become a bit more accepted but I don’t know because I think we’re maturing a bit but I’m sure it’s still common in high schools and stuff.”
For the most part ghosting doesn’t have any real rhyme or reason behind it. However there could be a few components that explain why some people believe ghosting is a valid way to break off communication.
“Gaslighting is something a manipulator may use. Ghosting is also a form of manipulation and in that I hold all the power,” Newberry said. “It could be a sense of power, manipulation. It could be emotional insecurity. It could also be a lack of self esteem. It could be done in that ‘They won’t even notice’, so it could be that it’s not done in malice.
“Don’t be a coward. That’s all this is, if you’re not interested, communicate it. Dating (and other relationships) are already hard. So I think that the more we recognize how important it is to be honest, and it doesn’t always have to be to someone’s face…but we all have to do our part.’