Ghosting: What Is It and How Do We Know It Is

Ghosting can cause unnecessary anxiety but here’s how to tell if the person is doing it on purpose or not.

Because technology sped up response times, not receiving a response immediately sometimes gives us undue anxiety. We start wondering if we said or did something wrong. The lack of response is considered “ghosting”, a term coined by many millennials, teens, and kids from the digital world. But what is ghosting exactly? And how can you tell if the person is ghosting you or not?


What is Ghosting?

The term “ghosting” became popular because of online dating sites like Tinder, Bumble, and other dating apps that millennials and teens got on to find a friend during the pandemic. Based on the Urban Dictionary, ghosting is when someone “quietly disappears from someone you’ve met on an online dating site”. It usually occurs when the person believes that the person they went on a date with cannot handle direct rejection regardless of how gentle they make it.

How do we know that another person is ghosting us?

Ghosting is usually judged through three different factors: timing, former conversations, and whether or not they read it. Messenger apps like LINE, WhatsApp, FB Messenger, Viber, and IG Messenger will show you whether or not the person has read our messages. For Viber, it’s usually if the two checks are lit up in purple. FB and IG Messenger have the person’s icon move next to the message sent. WhatsApp has double lit-up checks like Viber while LINE usually sends the “read” notification.

How can we avoid creating that impression?

There will be times that we won’t be able to answer right away. The best thing to do if we’re busy is to not open the message. Wait until we’re done with our current task. This will at least not send the notification to the sender that you’ve read their message. And you’ll also remember to read the message instead of forgetting about it. However, if you do accidentally open the message, there’s a reason why FB Messenger has the “thumbs up” icon. It’s a form of acknowledgment these days.

Sometimes, our smartphones will give us template replies. We can make our own and simply press a single button to inform them you’ll get back to them later.

But we need to respect other people’s time!

In exchange for the speed of response, technology may have made us more insensitive to people’s situations. Back then, we would actually look at the clock and check if they were busy. But before we jump to the assumption that they’re ghosting us, give it around a day or two. As moms and dads, we know how busy we get that it’ll be a miracle if we found an hour in the 24 hours to sit down and respond to all the messages.

Confused about the digital world or modern-day language? Here are some guides to help out!

Parents’ Ultimate Guide to Kids’ Modern Slang
What It Means When Kids Say To Us: “OK Boomer!”
10 Commandments for Every Kid and Teen Netizen

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