In the days before cell phones and the Internet, men and women had to go to great lengths in order to pursue a “side piece” outside of their current relationship. It wouldn’t have been uncommon for a 90’s man to be whispering sweet somethings to an ex-girlfriend over a landline only to have his current girlfriend pick up the extension in the kitchen and catch him in the act. In 1995, if a woman was unhappy with her relationship, there was no secret OkCupid account that she could set up, and if she did to try to find someone in an AOL chat room, she’d get caught as soon as her dial-up modem began screaming to life.
The age of the Internet and the smartphone have created numerous ways in which men and women can avoid getting caught in such awkward ways—and also given us all new ways to be caught creeping and break up with each other without ever having to make eye contact with the person being wronged/shunned/stunted upon.
A recent national survey conducted by Asurion found that one-third of those surveyed deleted messages that their better half might find to be inappropriate. Additionally, five percent of respondents admitted that they own a separate “burner” phone that their significant other doesn’t even know about. Perhaps most troubling of all, 15 percent of Americans say that they’ve dumped an ex via text message, up from five percent in 2012.
While people seem to be more cautious than ever, let’s present some hypothetical scenarios in which you could still be put on blast via the Internet or a smartphone:
- Some woman writes, “It was great seeing you last night” on your Facebook wall and your special lady sees it before you can delete the post. It is fine having female friends, but you told your girlfriend you were out bowling with Victor last. It’s time to disable wall posts on your account.
- Your boyfriend finds your burner cell phone ala Walter White on Breaking Bad. The best solution here would actually be to go with the Walter White defense: You’re not cheating on him; you are a crystal meth dealer. He might not buy the excuse, but it’s worth a shot.
- An ex-girlfriend that you told your current girlfriend you don’t talk to anymore has started following you on Twitter. This isn’t a big deal, you can’t control who follows you on social media—except wait, the reason the ex-girlfriend is following you is because you followed her in the first place. Taking a note from the “burner” playbook, it might be best just to create a burner Twitter account for this type of situation. And if your girlfriend finds that one, say that it’s also for dealing crystal meth.
All joking aside, have a happy valentine’s day and remember: if you don’t want your significant other to find out, don’t do it in the first place!
Edited by Cassandra Tucker