There are some things in the world I don’t understand, can’t wrap my brain around, or otherwise think are weird and awesome. I think we should take a break in the middle of the week and have a little conversation about “What’s up” in the world. To start off, let’s talk about one of my favorite topics: Dating.
Dating is hard. I don’t think it’s ever been easy – I’m sure previous generations had plenty of their own concerns and complaints. But our increased reliance on technology has had a big impact on all of our relationships, especially our romantic ones. Technology is great: it helps you communicate, helps you bond, entertains you, and informs you. But one problem is that we then expect all of those things from whoever we are communicating with, including friends, significant others, flings, acquaintances, you name it.
Along with the rise of technology has come the rise of ghosting, where someone you had previously communicated with regularly seemingly drops off the face of the earth and ceases all communication. Both friends and romantic interests can “ghost” on you, and there has been a lot of talk about ghosting in dating.
I’ve got some strong opinions here, and I will say they are definitely influenced by the way I use technology. I’m not a big texter. I don’t text just for fun. For me, there is a purpose for the phone, and it is to communicate information. Granted, I do enjoy texting my friends about silly things that happen during the day, especially when I’m spending a lot of time on my own. BUT. It takes a while for me to get to the comfort level of texting someone that much, and honestly I have other things on my mind that I care more about!
This whole outrage over ghosting really irks me. After two dates we feel like we need an explanation or are owed a conversation. Seriously? Let’s think about this. If you met that person out in the world, and started from scratch (as in, you didn’t know them before you first started talking), maybe you spoke with them for an hour or two before exchanging numbers. Maybe you went on two dates, each about 2-3 hours. So by my calculations, you could have spent as little as 8 hours total with this person in your life before they stopped talking to you. And you think they owe you an explanation? Seriously? I spend that much time with my coworkers in a weekday in the office Let’s get some perspective here. You really have no clue who you’re talking to yet. You hardly know that person. Think about it – how long did it take to really get to know your closest friend? Your work BFF? Your workout buddy?
Now, I realize that many people do know people for more than 8 hours when they date, or that they’ve gone on more dates. Part of the intimacy that develops can come from all the texting people do these days. Texting is such an easy way to entertain yourself, and such a weird way of getting to know someone, that it can really contribute to a false sense of intimacy.
How many times do you think someone never got a call after they gave someone their number? Did they expect a call to say, “Sorry, I don’t want to go out again” when there was no date 2 or 3? Maybe they are just not that into you. And yes, the nice thing to do is respond to a message, but guess what: some people are weird. Not all people have good manners. Do you really want to hang out or keep in touch with someone who doesn’t have the common decency to return your messages or calls?
Is ghosting rude? Yes, definitely. Do I wish it wasn’t a thing? Of course. I won’t pretend to have a solution to this weird phenomenon. I won’t even begin to try to explain it. But what I will say is that I think we all need to take a step back and think a bit more about what ghosting means, and how we can do our small part to counteract it. Let’s treat each other how we want to be treated. Let’s try to text a little less and look up and see the world a little more. You never know who else you could have met while you were staring at the phone waiting for that one person to finally call you back.