“Hey, how’s your week going?”
“Do you want to go get brunch this weekend?”
The two texts above were sent three days ago, but they were always on “read” and you never received anything back from the other side. You remembered it was a great date that you had been on, but the person just suddenly disappeared from your world when you tried to talk to them again.
This can also happen in so many more scenarios. Yes, my fellow editors. You see it when it comes to that writer who promised to turn in their article by last Wednesday but never did, nor did they respond to your text asking “is everything doing ok?” Or sometimes, it’s your co-worker on your same shift who does not tell you they are quitting until the day you realize they are gone.
Congratulations, you are ghosted. Well, I am sure that ghosting has happened to everyone, and maybe even all of you have also ghosted other people. Ghosting is not that easy. It’s far beyond simply not responding to whatever message the other person is trying to send. There is an art behind ghosting.
First of all, the timing of ghosting should be precise. Not following up on your date when you both know it was a disastrous experience is not ghosting. Do it when you know your date was clearly enjoying it and wanting to go on a second date. Do not send them any follow-up texts when you get home. Do not respond to whatever messages they sent you. All you need to do is to put your phone away, imagine their disappointment when their phone buzzes but it was just an irrelevant push from a random app and keep doing what you wanted to do without caring about their feelings at all.
Next is the most important part: zombie-ing. After leaving your date there for more than a week that they almost forget about you, now is the time to text them back. The fun part of zombie-ing is finding an excuse that sounds as ridiculous as possible but to make it very sincere. Sample excuses could be: “I’m really sorry I just saw this because my phone was stolen by some random people” or “the wifi at my house went down so I had no access to the Internet.” I know they both sound very wrong, but the truth is someone might actually buy them!
Last but not least, ghost them again, or do not reply until another five days have passed. If until this point you are still not on part of their blacklist, congratulations! You have mastered the art of ghosting.
All in all, the key thing of ghosting is it is an extremely immature and disrespectful behavior. In all aspects, you should respect whoever the person is that you are talking to, in terms of their time, energy and emotions. It is reasonable that ghosting is a common phenomenon that exists in all types of communication, but realistically, both you and the person on the other side of the phone deserve a healthy and fair relationship.