Ghosting on Social Media

Posted on 12/05/2018 in misc

Picture of a ghost

Facebook gave me a birthday reminder today for a Facebook friend that I haven't seen online in 2+ years. We were close enough to "real" friends that we made several attempts at getting together in real life for lunch or happy hour, but we never quite got organized enough to make it happen.

A couple of years ago he had surgery. His wife was pretty active on Facebook back then too. Since the surgery, both have just vanished.

  • Did he die in surgery?
  • Did he and his wife split up?
  • Was there some other family tragedy?
  • Did they just decide they were sick of it all and check out?
  • Was the whole thing performance art and they didn't really exist?

I have no idea, and obviously they don't owe anybody (outside of maybe family and their real life close friends) any sort of explanation, but it is a weird situation.

If you communicated with somebody almost every day, whether at work or the local coffee shop or in your neighborhood you'd worry if they suddenly vanished. It's no different with online friends.

I don't have any suggestions or big thoughts here - it's more of any observation. Maybe it's something to think about if you are thinking about checking out of social media. Who might be worried about you? Do you care?

(I might be expanding the definition of ghosting here as I think it's mostly a dating term.)

This is entry #5 in my attempt at 31 days of blogging for December 2018. I've haven't posted here daily since about 2007, so this should be interesting.

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