I remember when I started dating – about 10 years ago (oh my!) – it was relatively easy for someone to ‘disappear’ if they were no longer interested in continuing a relationship with you.
Social media didn’t exist, so you couldn’t track their every movement.
There was certainly no Whatsapp, so you couldn’t track their ‘last seen’.
If someone chose to simply ‘disappear’ from your life, one of these theories could hold true – at least in your head, which was good enough to serve as some sort of closure: “maybe he lost his phone” (the classic), “maybe he got bitten by a rat and got rabies and died”, “maybe he went to climb Mt Everest and never made it back”, “maybe he was in Hawaii and a volcano erupted”, and so on and so forth.
Fast forward to NOW. While you may disappear by ignoring someone’s messages, you can’t stop them from seeing your movements in the online world.
In the earlier days of Facebook, things you ‘Liked’ wouldn’t show up on newsfeed – now they do! So all your Facebook activity is pretty much tracked. Even if you didn’t do anything on facebook – by just being ON Facebook, you’ll show up on the Facebook chat as ‘online’.
You could choose to *not* go on Facebook at all. But if you use whatsapp, it will show up if you’re ‘online’.
Sure, you could block someone from all your social networks & phones. But let’s face it, the world is getting so much smaller that you’d probably run into this person at a gathering somewhere, or chances are you have mutual friends, or if you’re really unlucky then you might live in the same neighborhood.
Point being: in today’s world, it is near to impossible to simply “disappear”. Yet, some people still believe they can get away with the ‘disappearing act’
Consider this (totally made-up but totally possible) scenario:
One day a guy shows up at my door and says he’s got a delivery for me.
I open the package, and it’s a box of fries – my favorite!
I ask him what it’s for, and he says it’s just because.
I smile, thank him, and accept his fries. We say goodbye.
Next day, the guy shows up again with fries.
And the following day, and the day after that.
Eventually, I let him inside because he is oh-so-nice for giving me all these free fries.
He comes back everyday with fries, and I let him in everytime now. He starts to grow on me. I’m fat but happy.
One day, my FryMan stops showing up.
Oh no.. did something happen to my FryMan..? Did he get hit by a truck? Did he hit his head & lose his memory?
3 days of no fries (or FryMan). I feel my world falling apart. I go for a walk.
I bump into FryMan on the street – the dude is alive and well – all body parts intact, memory intact.
I want to ask him why he stopped delivering my fries, but that would sound too demanding, like I was expecting him to deliver my fries everyday (even though I was). I decide to go with something less presumptious..
Me: Hey, how are you? (Translation: Where are my fries?!?)
FryMan: Hey.. tired (Translation: don’t ask me about the fries)
Me: Oh.. okay.. doing anything much today? (Translation: are you planning on delivering my fries at some point?)
FryMan: Not sure.. probably rest (Translation: No fries for you, lady)
Me: Oh.. okay.. I hope you feel better soon.. bye (Translation: WHY THE HELL DID YOU SHOW UP IN THE FIRST PLACE TO DELIVER THOSE FRIES I NEVER ASKED FOR, AND THEN GET ME ALL HOOKED AND FAT!! NOW TAKE SOME FREAKIN’ RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT YOU’VE DONE!!)
Him: Thanks.. bye (Translation: I’ve actually got another fry delivery to make.. it’s just not addressed to you)
How many of you can totally see yourself as you were reading this scenario? (All hands should be raised up high at this point).
Which brings me to my real question: Is there some kind of etiquette one should adhere to before disappearing?
I mean, it seems kind of rude doesn’t it? You’ve been talking and hanging out for a while and things seem to be going well, and all of a sudden the person just… disappears. No calls, no messages, no nothing. (And I *know* for a fact that you didn’t get eaten by sharks because I *just* saw on my Facebook newsfeed that you ‘Liked’ Kim Kardashian’s ass).
So that just leaves me here wondering what the hell is going on?
To be fair, I guess I can understand that sometimes people lose interest. It’s happened to all of us. Maybe I was hoping to receive a notification, something like: “Hi, I will no longer be delivering fries to you, sorry about that and thanks for your understanding”. I’d probably still be pissed off, but it will at least give me some closure.
What do you guys think? Is the ‘disappearing act’ is an acceptable way of ending things?