Ghosting. It’s a phenomenon that plagues more than just millennials trying to find love. It’s become the bane of employers and PR agencies everywhere. Ghosting is the act of cutting all communication with another person without providing valid reasoning or explanations. It’s like an Irish goodbye but way worse and not nearly as much fun to discuss how good you are at it. While it seems heartless and cruel, ghosting is surprisingly common. It’s so common, in fact, that people often take to Twitter to joke about it.
In the age of online dating apps like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge, ghosting has become part of the vernacular. In fact, nearly 80 percent of millenials have been ghosted, so chances are, if you’ve used a dating app, you’ve also fallen victim to its heartlessness. Some argue that there are circumstances in which it is OK to ghost, like if there has only been one date or the relationship is short-term. Another theory is that our beliefs affect how likely we are to ghost someone. People with high-destiny beliefs are true believers in soulmates. They see compatibility as a black-and-white issue. Those who feel that relationships are made, not destined, hold high-growth beliefs. Those with high-destiny beliefs are more likely to ghost because if their partner isn’t their ‘soulmate’, they feel that the relationship is not worth the time. There’s a quiz that can determine if you hold high-destiny or high-growth beliefs. If you’re surprised by your results, you wouldn’t be the only one.
What should you do when you suspect that you’ve been ghosted? There are a lot of ideas out there. Some suggest examining the relationship and scanning the scenario, which means taking a step back before doing anything rash. Others recommend recognizing you’ve been ghosted, accept it and move on.
Ghosting has floated its way into the professional world. Studies show that potential job candidates are not showing up to their interviews, new hires are not arriving to their first day of work and long-time employees are disappearing without a trace. One business owner said that it doesn’t matter what the pay-scale or job position is, he will still get ghosted.
Ghosting is a two-way street, though. Employers ghosting candidates has been common practice for decades, and with the era of online applications, candidates are used to never hearing anything back. While this used to be the standard, employees are more empowered with the strong job market. With so many options available, job seekers can be more selective when it comes to deciding where to work. According to Mark Candella, founder and CEO of Ladders Inc., 35 years ago, employers had no obligations to candidates, but today’s job-seekers expect more from companies before signing a contract.
PR agencies are plagued by ghosting, too. Industry professionals report potential clients ghosting them after pitches. There are stories of agencies that spend hours researching a prospect, crafting the oh-so-perfect pitch and making it to the final round of pitching, only to be ghosted. Some ideas as to why more clients are ghosting is that budgets are tightening and companies are demanding better work from their agencies. It is frustrating for the agency, but a relationship can still be fostered, and there are ways to do so without seeming desperate.
There are a number of reasons why clients might ghost, and they can be disappointing. No matter the reason, ghosting is highly unprofessional. If a client does that, chances are, they would not have made a good client in the first place.