I’ve recently heard the phrase ‘ghosting’ when people no longer communicate with you on the Internet. It is a deliberate act of cutting themselves off from you.
I understand that sometimes people need a break and if there have been problems with a friendship or relationship then ghosting is a non aggressive or non argumentative way of splitting up.
But then there is the situation where people go missing on the Internet. I miss a few people who have done that. Perhaps they have announced they will no longer be using a site, which is bad enough when you have enjoyed their presence over months or years. Or they simply vanish. After years of talk, maybe someone you met on line and became friends with. Suddenly there is a hollow, a hole where they used to be. And because they are on the Internet you have no real idea in the world where they are. A couple of friends decided to leave WordPress. I used to look forward to their posts. Is it selfish to miss them?
A long term friend passed away recently. Luckily a relative posted that this had happened. Her Facebook page is still there and someone sent a message purporting to be from her. That was worrying. I don’t know why anyone would do that.
To some extent I would prefer to be ghosted than to have someone taking over my friends identity.
One if the worst things about the Internet is when people disappear and you don’t know where they have gone.
I have ‘lost’ a few people here recently. Perhaps it’s a new year and they have cancelled their membership, or decided blogging isn’t for them. Some of them had become friends, or I’d invested some time in reading their blogs. Some explained that this wasn’t working and they were going, others just disappeared. I can’t help saying I miss them. One person passed away. I knew she had been ill and I was sad to find out she was gone. At least there was a message put on her page to say she had died. I could grieve. But sometimes there is nothing, they become ghosts in my memory, sitting there, with no explanation. Then there are people who’s pages on Facebook are still open despite having died two or three years ago. Each time I see their faces on my friends list I feel sorrow, and yet it would feel wrong to ‘unfollow’ them. What to do. The etiquette of the Internet.. We need to learn.
The room was empty, their belongings? Gone. She looked around in disbelief. All of their stuff, years of accumulated debris, old cd’s, videos, books, clothes. Everything, even the plates out of the kitchen. The knives and forks, her old egg timer. It was like someone (him) had magiced everything away.
She had been away for three days, a course in Devon. After a long drive home she had been looking forward to coffee and an early night, not this?!
She walked slowly up the stairs..
The only things left were a wardrobe, a clothes rail, and the bed. Nothing else.
She lay down on the bed, confused. She didn’t know whether to ring the police, his parents, or just wait. How long did you have to wait to report someone missing? If he’d taken everything he must have left deliberatley?
A knock at the door….. What? She walked downstairs. She saw his face through the window. Why? She opened the door, ready to scream at him. He held up his hand. Sorry I wasn’t here. He said, everything happened too fast! It was meant to be a surprise….
Im sorry he said again. I’ve bought a new house… What? Where? How? Was what she said..
I won the lottery, he said.
My old cat liked a good wash. He sat in here and went for a spin, (not really). He was so cute but mad. Climbed bookcases to the top, chased the other cats. He was very bright… Not like another stray cat we took in. Sadly we think he died from drinking antifreeze. We think he got into someone’s garage. That was several years ago but I still miss him.
I phoned you
You didn’t answer
I phoned you
I left a message.
I rang you
There was no answer
I tried and tried
I rang again
There is no service for this number.
No whisper, no sound
Brrrrrrrrr…………. . ……….