Modern faces of social ostracism: ghosting, orbiting, phubbing, cancel culture



The article analyzes the negative trends of social communication mediated by the use of technological devices and communication in the virtual space. The emphasis is placed on the analysis of modern ways of breaking com- munication from the point of view of the phenomenon of social ostracism (ignoring, exclusion, rejection). The features of the perception of the object of phubbing are considered, the structure of the mechanism of the related phenomena of hosting and orbiting is given, the existing approaches to understanding this phenomenon are ana- lyzed in the search for explanatory schemes of the widespread phenomenon of cancelling. In conclusion, the directions of actual scientific research of new social ostracism forms in the era of technoference and nomophobia are proposed.

General Information

Keywords: social ostracism, social communication, nomophobia, phubbing, ghosting, mosting, cancel culture, orbiting, social pain

Journal rubric: Social Psychology

Article type: review article


For citation: Boykina E.E. Modern faces of social ostracism: ghosting, orbiting, phubbing, cancel culture [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2022. Vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 131–140. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2022110212. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Boikina E.E. Ostrakizm i rodstvennye fenomeny: obzor zarubezhnykh issledovanii [Ostracism and Related Phenomena: Review of Foreign Studies]. Psikhologiya i parvo = Psychology and Law, 2019. Vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 127—140. DOI:10.17759/ psylaw.2019090310 (In Russ.).

  2. Boikot [Elektronnyi resurs] [Boycott]. Bol’shoi entsiklopedicheskii slovar’ [Big encyclopedic dictionary]., 2005— 2022. URL:БОЙКОТ (Accessed 28.05.2022) (In Russ.).

  3. Voiskunskii A.E., Soldatova G.U. Epidemiya odinochestva v tsifrovom obshchestve: khikikomori kak kul’turno- psikhologicheskii fenomen [Epidemic of Loneliness in a Digital Society: Hikikomori as a Cultural and Psychological Phenomenon]. Konsul’tativnaya psikhologiya i psikhoterapiya = Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2019. Vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 22—43. DOI:10.17759/cpp.2019270303 (In Russ.).

  4. Golikova T.A. Lingvokul’turologicheskii slovar’ zaimstvovanii sovremennogo russkogo yazyka (2010—2020 gg.) [Linguistic and Cultural Dictionary of Borrowings of the Modern Russian Language]. Moscow-Berlin: Direkt-Media, 2021. 484 p. (In Russ.).

  5. Kryukova T.L., Ekimchik O.A. Fabbing kak ugroza blagopoluchiyu blizkikh otnoshenii [Phubbing as a Possible Threat to Close Relationships’ Welfare]. Konsul’tativnaya psikhologiya i psikhoterapiya = Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2019. Vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 61—76. DOI:10.17759/cpp.2019270305 (In Russ.).

  6. Bulinova A. (ed.) Novyi slovar’ dlya tekh, kto ishchet lyubov’ onlain [Elektronnyi resurs] [A new dictionary for those who are looking for love online]. Flacon. 2022. URL: (Accessed 28.05.2022). (In Russ.).

  7. Savinov V.S. Anomiya diskretnoi kommunikatsii v zhizni sovremennoi molodezhi [Anomie of discrete communication in the life of modern youth]. In Mansurov V.A., Ivanova E.Yu. (eds.). Materialy VI vserossiiskogo sotsiologicheskogo kongressa «Sotsiologiya i obshchestva: traditsii i innovatsii v sotsial’nom razvitii regionov» [Proceedings of the VI All-Russian Sociological Congress “Sociology and Societies: Traditions and Innovations in the Social Development of Regions”]: Tyumen’, 14—16 oktyabrya 2020 goda. Moscow: Rossiiskoe Obshchestvo Sotsiologov; FNISTs RAN, 2020, pp. 1022—1026. (In Russ.).

  8. Tvenge Dzh.M. Pokolenie I. Pochemu pokolenie Interneta utratilo buntarskii dukh, stalo bolee tolerantnym, menee schastlivym i absolyutno ne gotovym ko vzrosloi zhizni i chto eto znachit dlya vsekh ostal’nykh [Generation I. Why the Internet generation lost its rebellious spirit, became more tolerant, less happy and completely unprepared for adulthood and what this means for everyone else]. Moscow: RIPOL klassik, 2019. 406 p. (In Russ.).

  9. Buresh D.L. Will cancel culture prevent the adoption of the right to be forgotten? International Journal of Current Advanced Research, 2021. Vol. 10, no. 04, pp. 24127—24137. DOI:10.24327/ijcar.2021.24137.4783

  10. Hales A., Dvir M., Wesselmann E.D., Kruger D.J., Finkenauer C. Cell phone-induced ostracism threatens fundamental needs. The Journal of Social Psychology, 2018. Vol. 158, no. 4, pp. 460—473. DOI:10.1080/00224545.2018.1439877

  11. Digital 2021: glavnaya statistika po Rossii i vsemu miru [Digital 2021: main statistics for Russia and around the world] [Elektronnyi resurs]. Ex Libris. Ex Libris MRA, 2005—2022. URL: (Accessed 01.06.21). (In Russ.).

  12. Galbavá S., Dedkova L., Machackova H. Cyberostracism: Emotional and behavioral consequences in social media interactions. Comunicar, 2021. Vol. XXIX, no. 67, pp. 9—19. DOI:10.3916/C67-2021-01

  13. Gardner W.L., Pickett C.L., Knowles M.L. Social «snacking» and social «shielding»: The satisfaction of belonging needs through the use of social symbols and the social self. In Williams K.D., Forgas J., von Hippel W. (eds.), The social outcast: Ostracism, social exclusion, rejection, and bullying. New York: Psychology Press, 2005. pp. 227—242.

  14. Freedman G., Powell D.N., Le B., Williams K.D. Ghosting and destiny: Implicit theories of relationships predict beliefs about ghosting. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 2019. Vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 905—924. DOI:10.1177/0265407517748791

  15. Pancani L., Mazzoni D., Aureli N., Riva P. Ghosting and orbiting: An analysis of victims’ experiences. Journal of Social and Personal relations, 2021. Vol. 38, no. 7, pp. 1987—2007. DOI:10.1177/02654075211000417

  16. Le Febvre L.E., Allen M., Rasner R.D., Garstad S., Wilms A., Parrish C. Ghosting in emerging adults’ romantic relationships: The digital dissolution disappearance strategy. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 2019. Vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 125—150. DOI:10.1177/0276236618820519

  17. Goffman I. Stigma: notes on the management of spoiled identity. New York: Simon and Shuster, 1963. 147 p.

  18. Koessler R.B., Kohut T., Campbell L. When your boo becomes a ghost: The association between breakup strategy and breakup role in experiences of relationship dissolution. Collabra: Psychology, 2019. Vol. 5, no. 1, article ID 29. 10 p. DOI:10.1525/collabra.230

  19. Le Febvre L.E., Rasner R.D., Allen M. «I Guess I’ll Never Know…»: Non-Initiators Account-Making After Being Ghosted. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 2020. Vol. 25, no. 5, pp. 395—415. DOI:10.1080/15325024.2019.1694299

  20. Leary M.R. Sociometer theory and the pursuit of relational value: Getting to the root of self-esteem. European Review of Social Psychology, 2005. Vol. 16, pp. 75—111. DOI:10.1080/10463280540000007

  21. Li T.M., Wong P.W. Youth social withdrawal behavior (hikiko mori): A systematic. review of qualitative and quantitative studies. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 2015. Vol. 49, no. 7, pp. 595—609. DOI:10.1177/0004867415581179

  22. MacDonald G., Leary M.R. Why does social exclusion hurt? The relationship between social and physical pain. Psychological Bulletin, 2005. Vol. 131, no. 2, pp. 202—223. DOI:10.1037/0033-2909.131.2.202

  23. McDaniel B.T., Wesselmann E. «You phubbed me for that?» Reason given for phubbing and perceptions of interactional quality and exclusion. Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies, 2021. Vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 413—422. DOI:10.1002/ hbe2.255

  24. Bhattacharya S., Bashar M.A., Srivastava A., Singh A. NOMOPHOBIA: NO MObile PHone PhoBIA. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, 2019. Vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 1297—1300. DOI:10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_71_19

  25. Vanden Abeele M.M.P., Hendrickson A.T., Pollmann M.M.H., Ling R. Phubbing behavior in conversations and its relation to perceived conversation intimacy and distraction: An exploratory observation study. Computers in Human Behavior, 2019. Vol. 100, pp. 35—47. DOI:10.1016/j.chb.2019.06.004

  26. Prensky M. Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part 1. On the Horizon, 2001. Vol. 9, no. 5, pp. 1—6. DOI:10.1108/10748120110424816

  27. Spoor J.R., Williams K.D. The Evolution of an Ostracism Detection System: Jennifer R. Spoor and Kipling D. Williams. In Forgas J.P., Haselton M.G., von Hippel W. (eds.), Evolution and the Social Mind. Evolutionary Psychology and Social Cognitio. New York: Psychology Press, 2007. 344 p. DOI:10.4324/9780203837788

  28. Velasco J.Ch. You are Cancelled: Virtual Collective Consciousness and the Emergence of Cancel Culture as Ideological Purging. Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities, 2020. Vol. 12, no. 5, 7 p. DOI:10.21659/rupkatha. v12n5.rioc1s21n2

  29. Krasnova H., Abramova O., Notter I., Baumann A. Why phubbing is toxic for your relationship: Understanding the role of smartphone jealousy among «Generation Y» users [Elektronnyi resurs]. Twenty-Fourth European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) (Istanbul, Turkey. June 2016). 2016. URL: (Accessed 01.06.2022).

  30. Wilkinson M. As Consumers #BoycottHeineken, Should Brands Be Afraid of Cancel Culture? [Elektronnyi resurs]. Latana Brand Tracking, 2021. URL: (Accessed 01.06.2022).

  31. Williams K.D. Ostracism. The Annual Review of Psychology, 2007. Vol. 58, pp. 425—452. DOI:10.1146/annurev. psych.58.110405.085641

  32. Williams K.D., Shore W.J., Grahe J.E. The silent treatment: Perceptions of its behaviors and associated feelings. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 1988. Vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 117—141. DOI:10.1177/1368430298012002

Information About the Authors

Ekaterina E. Boykina, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Department of Legal Psychology and Law, Faculty of Legal Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



Total: 1907
Previous month: 34
Current month: 9


Total: 500
Previous month: 8
Current month: 0