Is There A Rise Of Ghosting?

September 18th, 2022

Ghosting, the act of seeing a message, application or any form of communication and then never responding. An example would be job applications where the businesses never responds with an accept or reject confirmation. Or finding a sharehouse, where the lister sees your inquiry and then never responds back. They’re countless other examples of ghosting and the thing they have all in common is how frustrating it is for you. You put in time and effort, the least they could do is respond with generic yes or no. Is that so much to ask for? Now for companies, they might be some legal basis, such as preventing evidence on discrimination. But for sharehouse listers? Surely they’d know how frustrating ghosting is, so why inflict those wounds onto others as well?

  Ghosting is not a modern phenomenon, it would’ve been more prevalent with expensive and unreliable communications. If it costs $10 to send a response, would you? There’s a few reasons on the increase of ghosting. First is a power imbalance and winner takes all. If a company has 100 job applications and 1 open position, it doesn’t matter if they don’t respond, they only need 1. Or in the case of sharehouse listing, they’d have multiple interested parties and only need to respond to the 1 who’ll take the house. Second is scale. The sheer volume chews up an extreme amount of time, not sending a rejection email adds up to hours of free time each year.

  Despite ghosting not being a modern phenomenon, it’s rise is partially because there’s virtually no consequences to ghosting anymore. If you didn’t respond with unreliable communications, you could’ve literally died by the time the mail reached you. The inventor of morse code electronic communications made that after sending a letter to his mother, which took weeks, and by then she was already deceased. Before that, in small villages, you could physically see others that didn’t respond to you and they’d be hell to pay without a good reason. Perhaps it’s not a rise, but rather we’re also extremely aware when we’re ghosted, thanks to read receipts.