Life ghosting

Everyone talks these days about the dating phenomenon of ‘ghosting’, but I’d like to discuss this practice outside of the dating world and inside the real world in general.

Have people gotten ruder in the past 10-15 or so years, or I’ve just gotten older and have had to interact with more people? These days, it seems like people have just forgotten common courtesy of replying to people.

Example one (and probably the most extreme): I took an online course which required submitting work and then a Skype call with a mentor every week. On the last week, my mentor didn’t show up. Half an hour after the scheduled time, he emailed me saying he got the times mixed up and could we please reschedule. I replied saying fine and suggested some times. He never replied. I sent another email a few days later, still no reply. My mentor ghosted me. What? He was getting paid for this. It was his job, yet he still couldn’t behave professionally.

Example two: Certain people I used to be friends with, some whose weddings I’ve been to, just stopped replying while in the middle of organising catching up. I realise that now I live in Germany, friends from Sydney have moved on with their lives, which I am no longer a part of. Fair enough. There’s been times when I’ve been back to Sydney and contact them, we start to find a time to meet that suits both of us and then they just forget (or ‘forget’) to reply. They’re busy with their lives and don’t have time for me and that’s fine. But at least say so. It could also be that they really dislike my company and I never knew it, but I think then they could’ve just told me upfront that they were too busy, rather than pretend for a while to express interest in meeting up.

I acknowledge that I could just be clueless to the fact that I’m a completely horrible person that noone wants to be around, that they need to ghost me to get rid of me, but I’d like to think that I’m not much worse than the average person.

Example three: We have a workaway account now for our farm and we often get people writing to us saying they’d like to come and stay and help us with our projects. Sometimes when I reply to certain people saying we can discuss things further, I’m met with silence, because they’ve already found something else. I don’t know about you, but I feel like a short ‘thanks but no longer interested’ response would be appropriate, rather than nothing at all.

Example four, five, six, seven…: I hear about all of Artur’s frustrations and woes when it comes to his business. For those who don’t know, he runs a (very successful) HR/recruitment company and in my biased opinion, I’d say its the best in the business. They’re sort after by not only Berlin startups, but well established companies in Germany. (I’ll stop with the promotion now.) All too often, I hear of companies that are interested in working with Artur and his team, (sometimes they have even started working with them), and then suddenly – nothing. No communication whatsoever from the other side. No ‘we no longer need your services’, no ‘we’ve changed our minds’, no ‘we don’t have the resources or financial means to continue in this direction’, nothing. Full unprofessionalism. People only care to be polite to you when they want something from you.

So my conclusion is that everyone thinks their time is more valuable than others, they’re just way too busy, way too important. They’d rather just ghost, forget about this other person they were previously dealing with, and move on. This I find really sad. To see our society heading in a way where we can’t for just one second, stop to consider another person. I wonder if it’s the rise in technology and the decrease in our concentration that makes it like this. Or maybe it really is that it’s only happening to me and everyone hates me and just doesn’t want to tell me.

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