This might be just one of those terms the New York Times invented to see how quickly it spreads into your daily vernacular, but like, we should probably thank them for labeling an epidemic we already knew existed but didn't officially name.
Last week the NYT identified "breadcrumbing" as basically that digital game of where someone contacts you online but like, also doesn't contact you. If that sounds confusing, it's because it is.
"Leaving a breadcrumb" would be like the guy you kind of think is cute who follows you on Insta and will randomly like your older photos but then never makes any contact other than that. Or the person who views your LinkedIn a lot but never sends you a message. Or an ex who drops you a text just to check in but never really wants more than that.
Is it psychologically pretty fucked up? Sure. But is it Betchy? That depends.
It's probably OK to breadcrumb if you're doing it for a specific reason. Like, if you want someone to ask you out so you want to drop them hints that you're interested. Like sure, like a two week old Insta. It says you're flirty and you're ready to party, provided they man up and make a move.
If you're doing it just to be a manipulative bitch who can't let things go, you can see yourself out. Don't dump or ghost a guy and then shoot him the Fetty Wap, i.e.:
Homeboy will already be upset he lost the chance to date you, so don't put salt in the wound.
Breadcrumb as needed, betches. You're welcome.