From ghosting to leaving WhatsApp groups, here’s how to avoid causing offence online

In the context of online dating, ghosting is when you snub someone simply by ceasing to reply to their messages. One minute you’re happily flirting over text, the next you digitally disappear. Leaving someone in the lurch like this is always rude and can be quite upsetting for the person on the receiving end, so it is only acceptable in the event that they have behaved so poorly they no longer merit even the most basic of social niceties. In other cases, if you’ve got as far as exchanging phone numbers, you must actually break things off. Presenter and sex educator Alix Fox coined the term “caspering” – after the “friendly ghost” – to describe sending one last message before unmatching. Something along the lines of the classic “It’s not you, it’s me” is usually sufficient.

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