A divisive new MTV show has been accused of encouraging stalking, and the premise admittedly sounds a little worrying.
MTV’s Ghosted: Love Gone Missing purports to help those who’ve been ‘ghosted’ track down their ‘ghosts’ and finally get the answers they feel they need.
However, many people – myself included – are concerned the eight episode series inadvertently serves to encourage inappropriate and worrying behaviour rather than facilitating closure.
For those unfamiliar with the term, the Urban Dictionary defines ghosting as, ‘When a person cuts off all communication with their friends or the person they’re dating, with zero warning or notice before hand’.
You will most often hear the term in association with dating and relationships. However, ghosting can also happen within friendship groups and even families.
Hosted by presenters Rachel Lindsay and Travis Mills, this series aims to help ‘distraught individuals track down and confront former lovers, family members or friends, all in an effort to get to the bottom of why these people suddenly disappeared’.
The format has been compared to Catfish, a show where presenters expose those who have inaccurately presented themselves online. However, many have interpreted the message behind this new show to be far more problematic.
so you’re telling me everyone’s mad at this man for actually moving on in life and not being stuck in the same town involved with the same people forever #ghosted #mtvghosted pic.twitter.com/g6YCvHGuAh
— ☔️ (@lmjdeIano) August 22, 2019
This show is about semi-stalking a person who didn't want to really wanna communicate with you anymore I'm gonna watch it though cuz it seems interesting #Ghosted #mtvGhosted pic.twitter.com/Viqa5soU7j
— Simply Mercedez (@MercedezReign) August 22, 2019
As much as it must be upsetting to find yourself in such a situation, it’s crucially important to respect a person’s decision if they have cut off contact with you. Choosing to track them down – particularly via a TV format – could well be viewed as crossing a serious line.
One person tweeted:
Honestly kinda gross, imagine never wanting to talk to someone and then being filmed meeting them again it’s a no from me.
So y’all basically took a term from social media to turn it into a reality show. Ok. However. Trying to “track down” the person that ghosted you, is stalking. A show about obsessed stalkers. As a therapist i know my field is secure financially. Holy sh*t.
The concept for the show is cute. The execution is creepy, dumb, and stalkerish. People don’t owe you an explanation as to why they left. It’s been 4 years. You need to let it go. You could’ve easily accepted that follow request and messaged him. #MTVGhosted
— only gay (@rayannafenty) August 22, 2019
As painful as the truth is, friendships end and relationships old and new wither miserably on the vine. Sometimes people need fresh starts in new places – for a wide variety of reasons – and don’t owe you an explanation on demand.
Coming to terms with this universal reality and gaining acceptance may well be a far healthier means of healing than pressuring a person into giving you an answer which may well not ease your hurt.
UNILAD has reached out to MTV for comment.
MTV’s Ghosted: Love Gone Missing will premiere 9pm on September 10.
Call 0808 80 20 300 for help, advice and support on stalking or visit the Action Against Stalking website
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.