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Survey explores ghosting phenomenon and common Tinder lies that lead to, well, ghosting

I ghosted your mom.

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Image: Bankmycell

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Last time we discussed a survey from BankMyCell — a website for selling your old cell phone or tablet — it was about why Millennials don’t like to use the phone (function). This time, it’s about why Millennials are ghosting and lying when it comes to dating apps and in some strange way, trying to find love.

Using a series of questions gathered from forums, blogs and psychology 101 books, the survey queried around 1,500 men and women between the ages of 18-35 to find out who is ghosting whom, who is lying to whom and why. Without even looking at the statistics, people lie on Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid and other dating apps because apps give us the opportunity to present a version of ourselves that represents our personality more than wearing a pork pie hat and suspenders out of the house ever could.

So, who is ghosting whom? According to the survey, 82% of women have been involved in ghosting, compared to 71% of men. If you don’t know what ghosting is, or aren’t quite sure, then you probably haven’t dated since 1995 and are still awkward friends with all your exes. Of the women surveyed, 26% have ghosted someone (most likely deservedly so), while 29% have been ghosted themselves. 27% have done both. Meanwhile, men lied because 15% of them having ghosted someone seems a bit low, especially with 29% of them saying they are ghost free.

Why do we ghost?

When it comes to the reason for ghosting, it all starts to make sense. 50% of women ghosted to avoid confrontation with someone, while only 38% of men cited that reasoning. 28% of men cited people not living up to their profile pictures, while that matching stat for women was 17%. Finally, 10% of women ghosted because the other person was too clingy or needy, compared to 16% of men. The lesson here is don’t be a dick, present yourself as you are and don’t be a needy slug and you won’t get ghosted.

Ghosting is a form of lying and so is straight up lying. This is where the survey gets good, revealing the lies we tell on dating apps. We are not what we seem. Both women and men admitted to using old photos or filters (swipe left), lied about their number of previous partners (who cares), stretched the truth to seem cooler (58% of men and 42% of women), pretended to have the same interests (there’s showing an interest, then there is pretending to like Dr. Who) and exaggerated their profile bio content.

Those self-presentation lies preclude the shady lies that lead directly to ghosting. 40% of women and 36% of men lied about going out again, while 9% of women and a surprisingly low 11% of men used dating apps while in a relationship. On the business end, 24% of men and 7% of women lied about their job or earnings. Hey guys, no one gives a shit how much you make as long as you can pay for the fucking meal. Users also admitted to lying about their age, but that’s just a normal, everyday thing people do anyway. No one wants to get old and die. Denial keeps you young.

The best part of dating apps is trying to get out of the app and meeting in real life. I can attest, it’s not as easy as it seems and I have used some of these lies myself in the past, as well as clearly been lied to about why meeting IRL just isn’t going to happen. 26% of men and 31% of women used fake schedule conflicts to avoid meeting. 28% of men and 19% of women used work-related excuses. The truth is that 100% of the time when someone doesn’t want to meet it’s because they just aren’t feeling it and their crushing anxiety won’t allow them to make that type of decision without months of internal agony.

Finally, we get to the most anxiety-inducing part of the survey — why people don’t reply all day. We’re addicted to our phones, addicted to social media and constant communication. There is no reason to not reply to a potential body of skin you can drain your fluids with. Yet, 35% of men lied about work meetings (compared to only 13% of women) and 44% of women lied about silent mode compared to 33% of men. Other lies included cell phone signal issues, which is nonsense, and pretending to be with family and friends. If you had those things, you wouldn’t be lying and ghosting constantly on dating sites.

So, why all this lying when trying to find a mate, whether temporary or otherwise? Why not begin with the truth? Because the truth is hard. Ghosting is easy. Just stop communicating with a person. Simple. Actually developing a relationship and creating a bond with someone, either a sticky bond or an emotional one, is exhausting and difficult and takes work. Apps make it easy to lay down the groundwork, but hard to actually commit to anything besides the entertainment factor of swiping, chatting and existing outside reality. Being honest is a much better way to land a date, and being honest with yourself is a much better way of being ready for one.

Do any of these stats hit close to home? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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A tech writer on the internet for over 15 years for outlets such as Forbes, Wired, TNW, and others, Curtis is exhausted, burnt out and happy to just write buying guides and the occasional review for KnowTechie, the best tech blog your mom never told you about. Ephemeral existence for ephemeral times. Please send pitches and grainy pictures of the inside of your elbow to kevin@knowtechie.com

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