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Meet orbit: Why people like each other, but don't communicate

Встречайте — орбитинг

And not a friend, and not an enemy, but so!

It would be strange to deny that social networks have influenced our communication.

On the one hand, the Internet gives us the opportunity to be in touch around the clock and a sense of closeness (sometimes false). On the other hand, it makes it possible to follow practically every step of a partner (or potential partner) - and there is less and less space to hide something that you don’t want to tell a new or even good friend. Friends may not disappear from our field of vision for years, and indeed now we can learn about the person we like, much more before the first meeting.

Встречайте — орбитинг

We are studying with interest the new properties and genres of communication. For example, they investigated the virtual phenomenon of micro-change: their symptoms can be huskies under old photographs of acquaintances, and long secret correspondence. They talked about hosting - a situation that is felt by one of the interlocutors so that his counterpart deliberately stops responding to calls and messages and ignores on social networks, avoiding direct conversation. But our life on the Internet is not limited to this - so, meet: orbiting.

"Orbiting" was invented by one of the authors of the site Man Repeller, Anna Iovin. In April, she wrote an article “Orbiting - a new host, and perhaps this is happening to you,” where she told her own story. In the tinder, she met a man with whom she went on a couple of dates: after the first, they added each other on social networks, and after the second, he suddenly stopped responding to messages. After a couple of weeks, Anna decided to send him a friend and stopped feeling his presence - with the exception of one social network. “We have not spoken for more than two months, but Tyler is not only still subscribed to me on instagram, but also looks at all my horizons. This is not a guest. This is orbiting, she writes. “I called this behavior“ orbiting ”during a conversation with colleague Kara, she poeticly described it as a situation where you stay in the orbit of a former fan — close enough to see each other, and far enough to never speak.” .

In an era when virtually every human action on the Web is in sight, it is not surprising that we begin to analyze them - and look for additional meanings.

Many have come across orbiting in one form or another; they simply may not have attached any importance to this. Former partners with whom you no longer speak, but to whom you like; friends with whom it is impossible to talk, but mutual subscriptions in social networks help to maintain a sense of closeness. Arina says that she was orbited many times - mostly those with whom she, like Anna Iovin, went on one or two dates. After the meetings, the guys were added to her as a friend in social networks or they began to look through her pages, without saying anything at the same time. “With the majority, everything is unchanged - we remained friends on Facebook or followers on Instagram, without exchanging a few phrases,” she says. Arina says that some of the orbiting stories ended differently: she started a friendship with someone, she started communicating with someone again after congratulations on her birthday, and then she stopped again because of the geographical difference or because there was simply nothing to talk about. “With the last orbiter, I broke off the relationship tightly. He regularly watched my instagram and Facebook posts, and at the same time sent incomprehensible photos of his food and “fun” parties in a snapshot without questions about how I'm doing, or some kind of initiative in terms of dialogue. It seemed to me very stupid and quickly tired, so I blocked it everywhere. I think he understood everything, and he stopped writing to me, ”says Arina.

Most often, orbiting is talked about in the context of romantic relationships - but, of course, there is every reason to believe that, like everything else on the Internet, this can also apply to any other relationship in principle. “It seems I’m orbiting (orbiting? Orbich?) One girl,” says Polina. “This is a relatively long-time acquaintance, we are subscribed to each other on instagram, but I stopped communicating with her in life and do not respond to her rare messages — compliments and questions.” The girl says that she had reasons to interrupt communication: although an acquaintance did not do anything bad to her personally, she had learned a lot of bad things about her from mutual friends over the past couple of years. “I see that she is always the first or one of the first to look at my storiz, which is a bit scary (it looks like she set up notifications about my new posts). At the same time, for some reason I can not unsubscribe from her, apparently, because she externally attracts me and I slightly envy her careless lifestyle - at least the way he looks on the instagram, ”explains Polina.

Встречайте — орбитинг

In an era when virtually every human action on the Web is in sight, it is not surprising that we begin to analyze them - and look for additional meanings. This seems logical: after all, what we do online reflects what we think and feel in relation to other people. The simplest conclusion that suggests in the case of orbiting is that it’s just a way to carefully and (relatively) politely stop communicating, not bringing the situation to a direct clarification of the relationship (which can lead to very different results), but leaving it possible to resume everything if you want to . “I think that orbiting is a rather selfish, but diplomatic way not to discard a person right now and to“ keep in touch with him ”, because“ but what if “- agrees Arina. “These actions may be dictated by the fear of losing a potentially interesting person with whom you are not on the way right now, but perhaps later you will begin to communicate (so I was with a couple of friends).”

“Social networks give us a unique opportunity to spy on the lives of others - even those with whom we are very superficially familiar,” said Dr. Rachel O'Neill, a licensed therapist specializing in relationships. - Orbiting also gives a person the opportunity to keep in touch with you without obligation. If circumstances change (for example, the person involved in orbiting decides that he wants a romantic relationship), it is also quite easy for him to return to your life — for example, comment out a post or send a message. ”

As in the case of any other human act, orbiting can have thousands of reasons - from deliberate manipulation to simple coincidence or offense through ignorance.

It may be that the silent huskies are just a sign of a fading friendship: when the communication fades away, but you are interested in watching the person from time to time. Or maybe a person basically doesn’t invest much in what’s happening: he doesn’t want to communicate, but automatically puts likes on nice photos, or doesn’t know how to turn off the story without deleting from friends - and a lot more. The author of Vice agrees with the latter point of view; he writes under the pseudonym Jake Pappitis: in his opinion, orbiting does not exist at all - just the people who deal with it are not very good at hosting and are not able to hide completely. “I think it’s not necessary to invent a separate category for a person just because he sucks you,” he writes. “I don’t think this is such intentional and villainous behavior as it is described.” It seems that in the case of orbiting, we are simply looking for too many non-existent meanings in the connections left in social networks after the relationship has faded away. ”

As in the case of any other human act, orbiting can have thousands of reasons - from deliberate manipulation to simple coincidence or offense through ignorance. One thing is clear: if the problem is not solved by talking, and the presence of a person in your social networks becomes painful, perhaps the best way out is not to try to analyze what is happening further, but simply add him to the black list. So everyone will definitely be calmer.