Ever since Internet became a thing, it’s become easier and easier to conduct life online without actually having to do anything face to face. You can find love online, buy a house online, buy your veg online, all without having to meet another soul IRL.
But because human nature dictates that we must avoid confrontation at all costs (unless you’re that strange breed of creature who actively courts opposition), it’s now become increasingly uncomplicated to cut someone out of your life. You know, ghosting.
Ghosting: the modern day practice (favoured by millennials, who else?) whereby you de-friend someone without explanation or clear motive, and vanish from his or her life as if you were never there, leaving a trail of uncertainty and pissed off feelings in your wake. I know, because I’ve ghosted a fair few people. Don’t hate. It just happened. More than once.
I’m the aforementioned type of person who will resolutely avoid conflict to the point where it becomes easier to ignore someone for the rest of eternity and pretend they never existed, rather than have a real life war of words and/or heartfelt conversation, both of which I find deeply uncomfortable hypothetical situations. Just the thought of acting out any sort of feeling-led exchange is enough to make me dry retch (spoiler alert: I also hate hugs).
This is the one of the reasons I’ve managed to rack up the Facebook friend unfollows. The kind of unfollow you don’t even know about until you’ve clicked on the account only to be met with the ultimate limited profile. And you can't even feel angry, because it's kind of definitely your fault.
It starts with the seemingly innocuous act of cancelling a lunch, which then leads to weeks of no contact. Then the ‘Phone Call’ looms; the call which you know is going to last the entirety of the evening, but you just don’t have the energy to feign interest for that long. So, you ignore ‘The Call’. And then it gets too awkward to text because your excuse is simply that you can't be arsed. Which can't even be categorised as an excuse, can it? It's just plain rude.
This is how I imagine most cases of 'ghosting' begin. A can't be arsed attitude tinged with a selfish belief that your life is just far too busy to deal with anyone else. But life is busy, and I'm of the opinion that if you can't be bothered to text someone back, send them an emoji, or even check in with a cursory 'like' on Instagram, then really, what's the point?
It's not you. It really, very truly, is me.
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