Picture this: you wake up Thursday morning to a text from your ex. They want to know why you sent them a sexy message in the middle of the night — and why you haven’t moved on.
But you have moved on. In fact, you didn’t send that text last night — you sent it nine months ago, when you two were still a couple.
That’s the nightmare some people woke up to this week in the United States after a cellphone server issue left nearly 170,000 messages from Valentine’s Day hanging in cyberspace until now.
“On Feb. 14, 2019, a server failed, and messages were in queue at the time,” telecom vendor Syniverse said in a statement on Thursday. “When the server was reactivated on Nov. 7, 2019, messages in the queue were released.”
Syniverse helps deliver text messages for major cellphone providers in the U.S., and its little server failure has created some confusing situations.
Stephanie Bovee, 28, told the Associated Press that she received a simple yet terrifying text from her sister early on Thursday. The message simply read: “omg.”
Bovee thought someone had died. She called every member of her family in a panic, and she didn’t know about the text message delay until three hours later.
“Now it’s funny,” she told the Associated Press. “But out of context, it was not cool.”
Marissa Figueroa, 25, says she received an unwanted message from her ex, whom she no longer talks to. He received a message from her as well.
“It didn’t feel great,” she said. “It just was not good for me and my mental health to be in contact with him.”
Several people shared similar text message exchanges on Twitter.
“The universe glitched, and I receive Valentine’s Day texts from my ex a couple nights ago,” user Mollie Marena tweeted. “It was jarring and harsh and hurt. I don’t know if I’m happy or sad that on his end — he probably doesn’t realize they sent, and I’m probably still blocked.”
“I got a text from him at midnight that said ‘of course I’ll be your Valentine,'” another woman tweeted. “WTF?”
Another user described an apparent missed connection from a woman who said she would go out with him.
News of the widespread incident came as a relief for many people, who can now truly claim that their Valentine’s Day wishes were lost in transmission.
—With files from The Associated Press