Surviving Ghosting: Digital Age Dilemma


You’re mid-chat with a friend, and then, poof! They’ve vanished. They don’t reply to your texts, calls, or direct messages on social media. 


This folks, is ghosting. It’s like becoming invisible without any warning or explanation. It’s a common issue among teenagers, often linked to our heavy social media and technology use.

What’s Ghosting?

Ghosting is a modern term for when someone suddenly cuts off all communication, making them feel like ghosts. Social media has made it easy to do, and its impact is felt deeply by both the ‘ghoster’ and the ‘ghostee.’

How to Cope If You’re Ghosted

Ghosting hurts. If it happens to you, the first step is to accept the situation. It’s okay to feel upset or confused. What’s not okay is blaming yourself. It’s the other person’s choice, not a statement about your worth.

Next, talk it out. Sharing your feelings with a trusted friend or adult can help. They’ll remind you that you’re not alone and might share similar experiences.

Finally, focus on self-care. Do things you enjoy, whether gaming, reading or just hanging out with friends. These activities will help take your mind off things and remind you that life continues.

If You’re Tempted to Ghost

Sometimes, we might be tempted to ghost. It may be easier to avoid a tough chat. But remember, it’s always kinder and more respectful to communicate honestly.

If you’re not sure how to express your feelings, take your time to think. You might write a note or practice what you want to say. It’s okay to ask for help, too. There are resources like apps and online forums where you can seek advice.

Ghosting and Mental Health

Ghosting can take a toll on our mental health. As ghostees, we might feel rejected or worthless. As ghosters, we might feel guilty or anxious. 

It’s essential to address these feelings and seek help if needed. There are lots of online resources and helplines available for us teenagers.

Online Resources and Helplines for Teenagers

In the digital age, help is often just a click away. There are many online resources and helplines to assist us teens in navigating the challenges of social media and personal relationships.

  1. Teen Line – Teen Line is a confidential hotline for teenagers which operates every evening. You can talk to a trained teen counselor about any big or small problem.
  2. Your Life Your Voice – This website by the Boys Town National Hotline offers email, chat, text, and phone counseling for teens. They also have resources on relationships, bullying, and mental health.
  3. 7 Cups – An online platform providing free, anonymous, and confidential text chat with trained listeners and therapists. They have a specific section for teens under 18 years.
  4. ReachOut Forums – ReachOut is an Australian-based service that provides peer-to-peer forums and mental health resources for teens.
  5. TalkLife – This is a peer support network where you can talk about mental health openly and honestly with people your age.

Remember, it’s okay to ask for help. There’s no need to navigate the confusion and hurt of ghosting alone. Feel free to reach out to these resources if you need to.

The Tech Connection

While technology has made ghosting easy, it also offers tools to help us cope. Features like ‘mute,’ ‘block,’ and ‘unfriend’ can offer some control over our digital space. Online forums and apps are designed to help people deal with ghosting.


Using ‘Mute,’ ‘Block,’ and ‘Unfriend’ Features

On Facebook:

  1. To Mute: Click on the chat conversation > Click on the ‘Options’ (gear icon) > Click on ‘Mute Conversation’ > Choose how long you want to mute it.
  2. To Block: Click on the person’s profile > Click on the three dots next to their profile picture > Click on ‘Block’ > Confirm.
  3. To Unfriend: Click on the person’s profile > Click on ‘Friends’ > Click on ‘Unfriend’ > Confirm.

On Instagram:

  1. To Mute: Go to your feed > Click on the three horizontal dots in the top right corner of the post > Click ‘Mute’ > Choose to mute posts, stories, or both.
  2. To Block: Go to the person’s profile > Click on the three horizontal dots in the top right corner > Click ‘Block’ > Confirm.
  3. To Unfollow (Unfriend on Facebook): Go to the person’s profile > Click on ‘Following’ > Click ‘Unfollow’ > Confirm.

On TikTok:

  1. To Mute: You can’t mute a specific user’s posts but can mute their direct messages. Go to your inbox > Click on the chat with the person > Click on the three dots in the top right corner > Click ‘Mute Messages.’
  2. To Block: Go to the person’s profile > Click on the three dots in the top right corner > Click ‘Block’ > Confirm.
  3. To Unfollow: Go to the person’s profile > Click on the ‘Following’ button > Confirm when it says ‘Unfollow.’

On WhatsApp:

  1. To Mute: Go to your chat list > Long press on the chat with the person > Click on the ‘mute’ icon at the top > Choose how long you want to mute the chat.
  2. To Block: Go to the chat with the person > Click on the three dots in the top right corner > Click ‘More’ > Click ‘Block’ > Confirm.

WhatsApp doesn’t have a feature to ‘unfriend’ someone. But if you want to remove someone from your contact list: 

Open your phone’s Contacts app > Find the contact > Choose to ‘Delete’ or ‘Remove’ the contact. 

But remember, they can still message or call you on WhatsApp if they have your number unless you block them.

These features are essential tools for managing your interactions on social media. They can help create a digital environment that feels safe and positive for you.

“Ghosting Ghosts: Mastering Digital Etiquette”

As we wrap up, remember it’s not just about surviving ghosting but mastering our digital world. These tools and resources we’ve discussed? They’re not just shields; they’re our superpowers. But, our most potent tool of all? Respect – for others and ourselves.

Ghosting might seem like an easy escape, but the digital footprints it leaves behind can cause distress and confusion. 

Instead, let’s aim for open and respectful conversations, even tough ones. And remember, if you’re on the receiving end of ghosting, don’t let it define your worth. You’re more than a seen-zoned message or an unreturned text.

Being a teenager in this digital era can be a maze, but we can conquer it with understanding and the right tools. Remember, if the ghosting phantom haunts you, reach out, talk it out, and use your digital superpowers wisely.

Here’s to mastering our digital universe, one respectful conversation at a time. 

After all, isn’t that what being a tech-savvy teen is all about?

A writer and mother working to provide the best advice and support for navigating the internet in a safe and secure manner.