This page has been robot translated, sorry for typos if any. Original content here.

Meet - orbit: Why people like each other, but do not communicate

Встречайте — орбитинг

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

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

On the one hand, the Internet gives us the opportunity to be in touch around the clock and a feeling of proximity (sometimes false). On the other hand, it allows you to follow almost every step of the partner (or potential partner) - and there is less and less space to hide something that you do not want to tell new or even good friends. Acquaintances may not disappear from our field of vision for years, and indeed now we can find out about the person we like much more even before the first meeting.

Встречайте — орбитинг

We are studying with interest new properties and genres of communication. For example, they investigated the virtual phenomenon of micro-change: their symptoms may include likes under old photos 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 ceases to answer calls and messages and ignores them on social networks, avoiding direct conversation. But this our life on the Internet is not limited to - so, meet: orbit.

“Orbiting” was invented by Anna Iovin, one of the authors of Man Repeller. In April, she wrote an article, “Orbiting is a new hosting, 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 frend him and ceased to feel his presence - with the exception of one social network. “We have not talked for more than two months, but Tyler is not only still following me on Instagram, but he is also viewing all my stories. This is not hosting. This is orbiting, she writes. “I called this behavior“ orbiting ”during a conversation with my colleague Kara, she poetically described it as a situation where you stay“ in orbit ”with a former fan - close enough to see each other, and far enough to never talk” .

In an era when almost 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 faced one way or another in orbit, they simply might not have attached any importance to this. Former partners with whom you no longer speak, but to whom you like; friends with whom I can’t talk to, but mutual subscriptions on social networks help to maintain a sense of closeness. Arina says that she was orbited many times - mainly those with whom she, like Anna Iovin, went on one or two dates. After the meetings, the guys added to her friends on social networks or began to browse her pages without saying anything. “With the majority, everything is unchanged - we remained friends on Facebook or subscribers on Instagram, while not exchanging a couple of phrases,” she says. Arina says that some orbiting stories ended in a different way: they made friends with someone, she started talking to someone again after a happy birthday, and then again stopped because of a geographical difference or because they there was simply nothing to talk about. “With the last orbiter, I broke off relations tightly. He regularly watched my Instagram and liked Facebook posts, and at the same time sent incomprehensible photos of his food and “fun” hangouts in the chat without any questions about how I was doing or any kind of dialogue initiative. It seemed to me very stupid and quickly tired of it, so I blocked it everywhere. I think he understood everything and stopped writing to me, ”says Arina.

Most often they talk about orbit in the context of a romantic relationship - but, of course, there is every reason to believe that, like everything on the Internet, this can apply to any other relationship in principle. “It seems I’m orbiting (orbiting? Orbich?) One girl,” says Polina. “This is a relatively old acquaintance, we follow each other on Instagram, but I stopped communicating with her in life and don’t answer her rare messages - compliments and questions.” The girl says that she had reasons to interrupt communication: although a friend did not do anything bad to her personally, from mutual acquaintances over the past couple of years, she learned a lot of unpleasant things about her. “I see that she is always the first or one of the first to look at my stories, which is a little scary (it seems she set up notifications for me about my new posts). At the same time, for some reason I can’t unsubscribe from her, apparently, because she looks attractive to me and I am a little jealous of her nonchalant lifestyle - at least the way he looks on Instagram, ”explains Polina.

Встречайте — орбитинг

In an era when almost 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 about other people. The simplest conclusion that arises in the case of orbit is that it’s just a way to carefully and (relatively) politely stop communicating, not leading the situation to a direct clarification of the relationship (which can lead to very different results), but leaving the opportunity to resume everything if you suddenly want to . “I think that orbiting is a rather selfish, but diplomatic way not to discount a person right now and to“ stay in touch with him ”because“ well, what if, ”Arina agrees. “These actions can be dictated by the fear of losing a potentially interesting person with whom you are not on the way right now, but perhaps then you will start talking again (as I had 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,” says Dr. Rachel O'Neill, a licensed relationship therapist. - Orbiting also gives a person the opportunity to keep in touch with you without obligation. If circumstances change (for example, an orbiting person decides that he wants a romantic relationship), it is also quite easy for him to return to your life - for example, comment on a post or send a message. ”

As with any other human act, orbit can have thousands of reasons - from intentional manipulation to simple coincidence or resentment of ignorance

It may be that silent huskies are just a sign of a fading friendship: when communication comes to naught, but you are interested from time to time to monitor what is happening to the person. Or maybe a person, in principle, doesn’t make much sense in what is happening: he doesn’t want to communicate, but automatically puts likes on nice photos, or doesn’t know how to turn off stories without deleting friends, and much more. The author of Vice, writing under the pseudonym Jake Pappitis, agrees with the latter point of view: in his opinion, orbitering does not exist at all - just the people who deal with it are not very good at hosting and cannot hide completely. “I think you don’t have to come up with a separate category for a person just because he is sucks for you,” he writes. - I do not think that this is such intentional and villainous behavior, as they describe it. It seems that in the case of orbit, we are simply looking for too many non-existent meanings in the connections that remained in the social networks after the relationship came to naught. ”

As with any other human act, orbit can have thousands of reasons - from intentional manipulation to simple coincidence or resentment out of ignorance. Only one thing is clear: if the problem is not solved by conversation, and the presence of a person in your social networks becomes painful, perhaps the best way here is not to try to analyze what is happening further, but simply add it to the black list. So everyone will definitely be calmer.