Ghosts have been used as material for scary narratives for centuries. Whether it's ancient ghost stories or "The Sixth Sense", they always succeed in giving their audience goosebumps.
Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines a ghost as “a disembodied soul; especially: the soul of a dead person believed to be an inhabitant of the unseen world or to appear to the living in bodily likeness.”
Sure, it might be scary to see dead people, but is it scarier than being ghosted?
Ghosting, according to the top definition on Urban Dictionary, is “the act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date.”
Joe Harrison, a senior in telecommunications, had never heard of the term “ghosting” but was familiar with the concept.
“It’s when people drop out of your life, stop responding to texts, stuff like that. I know that as the term ‘phase two,’" Harrison said. "It tends to work in the romantic relationship setting, and then you’re not interested anymore. The colloquial expression is ‘Hit ‘em with the phase two.’”
Harrison said he has been “hit with the phase two” before, but he doesn’t think it’s always intentional. Instead, he thinks that it’s caused by a desire to avoid an awkward situation. He said that first the communication stopped, and eventually he decided his ghosters just weren't interested.
“If they were going to tell me that they weren’t interested, I would want to know why,” Harrison said.
Harrison said that he thinks telling someone you're not interested in them is a more personal form of rejection than ghosting, which is something he doesn't put too much thought into.
"It's not even worth bringing up," Harrison said. "I'm not going to try to find meaning in it...it might not even have anything to do with you."
Harrison said he has also ghosted a girl he was involved with. She was more into the college experience than Harrison was, which Harrison described as pep rallies, sports games and other similar events.
When Harrison realized things wouldn’t go further with her, he ghosted her because his alternative was to tell her she was “too chipper.”
“To hear that, that’d be really weird,” Harrison said. “Because you’re causing a lot of self-reflection and analysis on her part. She’s gonna second guess herself, and you don’t need to put insecurities on people like that.”
Advertising junior Baylee Alexander said ghosting is the easier way out of social situations because of how easy social media makes it. But she doesn’t think that it’s always the better choice.
“I can understand where the fear comes into play, where you don’t know what to say in those instances,” Alexander said. “I feel like that’s why ghosting is still a thing because people are too afraid to say what’s really on their mind because they don’t want to hurt that person’s feelings, but I think it’s worse when you just block them.”
Alexander said that she thinks it’s harder to ghost people that the ghost-er interacts with in person on a daily basis. She said ghosting is rather geared toward unfamiliar people because you can block them on social media, and they’ll be “gone forever.”
“That’s the thing about ghosting," Alexander said. "They’re a ghost now. They don't exist.”