There have been articles published recently on the topic of “ghosting” in the N.Y. Times & Huffington Post. Ghosting is when someone stops responding, and pretends that you don’t exist. They are pretending that you are invisible and that they can’t see you. The articles describe how it happens in dating. Basically, if you’re dating someone, and they stop responding to all communication from you, they are ghosting you.
Ghosting is happening in other places too.
I know someone who recently went through three rounds of interviews with a Fortune 500 company. They promised her a response by a certain date. Now they are not responding to her calls or e-mails.
I was scheduled to fly the friendly skies last week. My airline cancelled my flight less than 24 hours before takeoff. I had to drive 12 hours each way, because they could not place me on a flight in time. I sent a note to their customer service department, and asked for some compensation. I’m still waiting for a response. I’m not holding my breath.
We host parties at Chez Ward’s, or a restaurant, once a century or so. When we do, we ask for replies, in the form of an R.S.V.P. “R.S.V.P.” stands for “respondez s’il vouz plait”, or “please respond”. We know that people are busy, so we ask for e-mails, or texts, or calls, whatever is easiest. And yet, many people don’t respond.
I know that I sound like an old fart when I say this, but when did it become ok for us to stop responding to each other? I realize that saying “no” to someone isn’t easy, but we all deserve a human response to a human question. I understand that sometimes the answer is “no”. I’d like to hear it, rather than trying to interpret silence.