Modern Life 101: When The Text Wasn’t Meant For You, What Do You Do?

THE OTHER DAY I received text messages from friends that I wasn’t supposed to receive.  I was part of the conversation by accident.

We all know that stuff like this happens.

[In fact, it’s a miracle that when I text with Z-D I don’t accidentally include his sisters on the text.  In my phone, they’re all set up together so that I can send group texts.  Meaning that if I want to just text Z-D alone, I have to scroll down my contacts to find him.

I figure it’s a matter of time before I get distracted and text his sisters with something like: Pizza 🍕? Beer 🍻 too plz. You get dinner 🆗?]

SO, YOU’RE WONDERING IF what I read in these texts was salacious, aren’t you?  Did I get some good dirt on these friends who included me, but didn’t really mean to include me?

Well, no.

The texting was about how much one friend adored the daughter of another friend and how she was so happy to have spent time with the other friend’s daughter.

Gushy Mom Stuff, you know?

[But this texting did remind of something that happened years ago when email was new.  I got BCCed on messages going between two married friends who were, it seemed to me, having a lesbian affair that their husbands didn’t know about.

I didn’t need to know about it either, but there it was.]

ANYHOO, I FIGURE THAT everyone probably has a story about inadvertently learning something about someone else because that someone else made a mistake when using some kind of newfangled communication technology.

Like a text. Or an email. Or a voice mail, if we’re really reaching back in time.

I’m talking about eavesdropping, modern-style.

So, kids, spill the beans.

 – – 👀 – –

What do you know that you’re not supposed to know? How did you come to know this? Did you do anything with the information that you accidentally learned?

– – ? – –

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

80 thoughts on “Modern Life 101: When The Text Wasn’t Meant For You, What Do You Do?”

  1. I’m not aware that I’ve ever sent or received a message in error. Because of the nature of my career (privacy and security), I’ve always been a bit anal about double-checking the distribution list.
    Having said that, now I’m going to live in fear of doing exactly that. “Nevers” always have a way of coming back to bite me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joanne, I’m like you in situations that are professional. BUT in friendship/family circles I’m much more laissez-faire about what I send. I don’t know for a fact that I’ve done something stupid, but I wouldn’t put it past me. Which is why this text message goof-up made me laugh.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So why would two friends want you to know they were having a lesbian affair….unless they were looking for a threesome? Back in the day when I was young and dumb, a very abbreviated DOS messaging system was introduced at work. You could send two lines at a time (we all know that it doesn’t take much to get in trouble). I was having an argument with one friend and emailing it to another in a series. One of the series I sent to the person I was arguing with. She didn’t talk to me for 6 months. And that’s how I learned you don’t put it in writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kate, when I received the BCC email my mind didn’t go down the path you’ve outlined. Perhaps I was too innocent to even think of such things back then. Or now, for that matter.

      I can see how those old DOS systems could trip you up. I never quite followed any conversation on them. Lesson learned, huh? And it’s a good one for all of us to remember, imho.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve received group emails from my kids regarding holiday or special occasion sort of things, then wanted to respond individually to them…because…well– different kids, different lifestyles, different likes and views– ya know.
    I have had to catch myself a few times and remember to check that I’m not “replying all” and I think that I’ve done okay- so far. I know that inevitably one day I will mess up so now I keep my comments generic and send a later individual email if/when needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. BTW, work emails and texts worry me more than anything, mostly because I’m not a texting person with friends in general but my immediate boss texts all the time about work related info. I’ve gotten a few questionable texts from her, I think meant for me, but odd in a way that doesn’t reflect well on her and her need to share too much…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh Deb, now that sounds like what I figure is happening all over the place with texts. They’re so easy/fast to send and the cell phone keyboard + screen are so darned small, that it’s easy to share too much too fast.

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    2. Deb, I’m not big on ever hitting “reply all.” For the reasons you mention. Like you when I do use that function, I say basic, factual things that everyone needs to know. Separate emails may be more time-consuming, but in the end they are less likely to get me into trouble.

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  4. I haven’t had anything too cringeworthy happen yet, though I worry all the time it will. It’s so easy to respond to a group texts. (I’m not a fan of group texts anyway. Leave me out, I say, a la introvert style. 😁) But I did once ask Twitter if it wanted to take a walk with me. I thought I’d texted my husband, but I’d actually posed my question to the Twitter number in my text messages (I get text notifications of retweets and mentions). After a few minutes when my husband still hadn’t responded (he was right upstairs), I checked again and saw I’d just tweeted the question to Twitter. Didn’t even get any takers…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Carrie, laughing here. Now you’re the first person who I’ve heard of who texted Twitter. Congratulations on making a unique and hilarious mistake. I don’t have Twitter on my phone, but I can see myself doing something similar if I did. Not one person [myself included] wanted to go for a walk with you? That’s just pitiful.

      Like

  5. I don’t usually do group texts because I don’t need to see everyone’s responses (or maybe I just don’t have that big a group of friends), especially when people break off and start talking among themselves in the middle of the chat. I mostly group text my kids. I don’t even include my husband most of the time because he doesn’t like getting all the responses either. I’m pretty dull when it comes to the texting stuff. It took me a while to even get on the cell phone wagon because my feeling was that only drug dealers and doctors needed phones or pagers. Only when my husband had to start commuting across the bay bridge did I think that maybe a cell phone would be good for him to have. I’m kinda old fashioned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, I get what you’re saying. I don’t text that often and when I do it’s all about information– not gossip or chit-chat. I don’t like all the mixed-up-ness of group texting either. And when people I barely know send me photos of their kids, I never quite know what to say– or to whom I saying it. Zen-Den and I communicate via texts because it’s fast and we understand our own shorthand for things, but with other people it’s more difficult.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been pretty lucky. But recently a friend and I were texting briefly, as we always do. Only this time she was chattier than usual. The last text was, “Oh sorry, that was for my daughter.” Now, FAX, that’s another matter. I’ve received misdirected faxes mores than once, often containing private financial information. At which point, I would contact that person and say… You don’t know me but I just received Blah Blah Blah from your insurance company/bank/car dealership which I will be shredding as soon as I hang up. But you may want to speak to them pronto, because this shouldn’t be happening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elen Grey, that texting mistake is kind of interesting. I wouldn’t be insulted knowing that I was perceived as less chatty, but I bet some people would! 🙄

      As for your FAX experiences, I’ve never had that happen, and thinking on it I’m amazed that I haven’t. You’re a good person to alert whoever about what just happened. But it does raise the question of how many times has my personal financial info ended up in the wrong hands due to no fault of my own? Too scary to think about.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I just do texts with my daughters, but sometimes I get something they texted to someone else. Usually it’s something silly, like bring 500 napkins (it was supposed to go to her husband, who was out getting food). … I did once get invited to a party in another state (NM), with details of how to get to their house. I didn’t know this person, so it was a wrong number. I did text them back, saying thanks, but I think you sent it to the wrong person! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ghostmmnc, I can understand innocent wrong texts like your 500 napkins one– or my friends talking about cute daughters. There was nothing wrong with it, just funny to me. But your second example makes me wonder about people. Whoever sent that text was cavalier about sharing some personal info! Good of you to let them know their mistake.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My story isn’t salacious. Back in the day, like two years ago, when I still had a phone with a pull-out keyboard for texting, I got caught in a Millennial Texting Loop. The kids kept insisting I was their friend James and I was just joshing them (their word, not mine). Finally, I called the phone company to have it stopped — she could block them or block texting. I had her block texting completely. Once I got my smartphone last year, I decided to have/use texting, but it’s sparingly. I am not a fan.

    p.s. Your “back in time” part… or VIA FAX.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tara, that’s a warpy thing to have happen. I’ve never heard a story like that one, but at least you got out of the loop. I text 90% of the time with Z-D which is easy, but occasionally I text with friends/family. I find that I can do it, but I have to concentrate so much that I don’t like to do it.

      Yes, FAX is another good one to add to the list. Didn’t think of it, obviously. Kind of trying to forget they were ever part of my life.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t text ~ it’s too time-consuming on a flip phone. But if I got a text I wasn’t supposed to get, especially if it was just “gushy mom stuff,” I’d probably press reply all and say, “Hey. Not sure you meant to send this to me, but I got it.”

    In that vein, a friend who we will call “step-mom” got cc’d on a text between her two step-daughters who were talking about her being a bit “frosty.” She didn’t bother to clue them in. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. nancy, I only embraced texting when I got a smart phone a few years ago. Before that I had a flip phone.

      I got a kick out of the mis-text, but I wonder how many times what happened to “step-mom” happens every day. I like that she let it slide, now knowing more about where she stands with the girls.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve sent a few errant texts but – thank goodness – they didn’t include anything personal. I was always very careful to double and triple check the “To” line in my work emails as I had heard of some very disastrous mis-sends. Fortunately I don’t need to think about that anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janis, if it’s any kind of professional communication, I check [about a thousand times] who I’m sending the message to. But in other situations I’m more lax. Of course, I’m circumspect in most of my messages so I cover myself that way. But the possibility of error is there… 😒

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Forgetting my last text window was not my husband, I asked my friend Lola in Vancouver to bring home Chinese food.
    I seem to get texts from strangers quite a bit, and some of them do not understand that I’m not their intended recipient no matter how many times I explain. Also, I tell them I’m Joey, because I don’t like to be a woman with strangers. This led one man to accuse me of sleeping with his girlfriend, but I wasn’t. He was going to come to my house (obviously not my house) and cut off my (part I don’t have) and shove it down my throat. That was before blocking, like, back in Motorola time.
    Another time, I got a text from one friend, intended for another, and it just made me sad, because it was like, “See you in about an hour! xo” and I was in Georgia and I knew I could not be part of.
    Nothing too great at all, certainly nothing salacious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joey, you’ve had lots of texting experiences. Most interesting. I rarely get texts from strangers. I can see how your name could work to your disadvantage in certain scenarios. But really, the one you describe is awful.

      Missing out on fun with friends would be a bummer kind of text. That’d make me sad, too. The one I received made me laugh about what I’d been left out of.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Maggie, until I got a smart phone I didn’t know much about texting. I still don’t totally embrace it, but I’m careful to send to the correct people and to say nothing extreme to anyone I do text with. It’s a whole different way of communicating. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I don’t text. Often anyway. But once I got a weird message asking me to come to the backyard (I live alone) because of the strange thing back there. I figured out it was my neighbor to the east of me and so I went over there with the dog (we’re ‘dog’ friends..). Her husband was on the patio of their home and seemed surprised to see me. I said my neighbor had texted me to come to the backyard..? Turned out she had done it about three days before (I never turn on the danged phone) and she wanted me to see the badger or fox or something that was in the wetland area next to her home….she came outside when I went over and was still in her pjs, brushing her teeth and laughed about it. I said I probably needed to check that thing more often.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Embeecee, I totally get the not turning the thing on. I used to forget about mine for days until I started using it as an alarm clock. That’s a funny story. So believable to anyone who isn’t enthralled with their smart phone. I’m glad that your neighbor has a sense of humor. Thanks for sharing.

      Like

  13. Nothing like this has happened to me, but the closest would be when a friend was messaging me thru facebook, asking me how my day was, etc. We chatted back and forth for a bit until she told she had to go. Then suddenly I get another message asking me how my day is going. I was like, “Uh, did you mean to send this to someone else? My day is still fine.” She didn’t respond after that. Clearly, she didn’t really “need to go,” she just wanted to start chatting with someone else!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Like many of your other readers, I’m super careful about what I put in writing, and always double check before sending….usually. But I still have been caught in the “oh crap, I just sent that message to the wrong person’ trap. In fact, it happened to me again just last week. Whenever I refrain from being my super nerdy self (and not check something three times) I almost always regret it! Sigh!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Donna, I’m careful about what I send and who I send it too. I don’t think I’ve goofed up, but maybe I have and no one told me. Who knows? This last text from friends made me wonder, but also made me laugh. From what I can tell, we’re all one distraction away from making a texting mistake.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, that was a weird one. It happened so long ago that it sounds quaint, but at the time I was surprised– both by the content of the message and the fact that it happened. I never said a word to either woman about it. Not my business.

          Liked by 1 person

  15. I texted someone by accident recently, nothing remotely interesting though. That same day, my daughter accidentally texted me. Again, nothing interesting, but it does remind us to be careful, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. J, you said it. This wrong text reminded me to double-check anything I do when it comes to texting. It’s so easy to make a mistake– and heaven knows I goof-up more than most!

      Like

  16. These are great stories. I once received an email from an employee’s wife explaining why she had chosen not to divorce him, even though he had done unspeakable things, the nature of which she only hinted at. I didn’t know they were having marital problems and am quite sure she didn’t intend to out him to his boss.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’ve made errors but nothing that would cause me embarrassment or loss of a friendship, luckily! *knock on wood*

    Once I was in an email conversation with another parent because we were in charge of organizing after-school activities and we were trying to round up people who might want to teach a class to elementary school kids.

    The parent I was working with had strong reservations about a particular theater/drama educator, describing her in the email as lazy, disorganized, and “not even that good,” and she didn’t think we should ask her to teach a class.

    Sadly, the parent had accidentally (and I honestly have no clue how she managed to do this) cc’d this particular drama teacher on that email which was supposed to be meant for my eyes only.

    Ugh, when I read that email and then saw the drama teacher’s name in the cc bar, my stomach dropped.

    The parent immediately caught her own mistake, emailed me (separately this time) telling me she realized what she’d done. Understandably, she was beside herself. She ended up contacting the drama teacher to apologize, but the damage had been done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kate, “but the damage had been done.” That’s something that I believe we all worry about doing, isn’t it? Accidentally [Freudian slip?] sending an email to the person who you’re talking smack about. It cannot end well. What a mess you found yourself in.

      I’m careful about how I use email & texts, just because I don’t want to insult anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings. Of course, when it comes to written communication I usually hold back on the negative. I figure there’s enough negative floating around in this world for necessary reasons, that I don’t need to contribute to it for unnecessary reasons.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. camparigirl, I didn’t know what to do when I received the wrong text, so I did nothing. This had never happened before– which surprised me once I got thinking about it. In the future I don’t know what I’ll do, but answering back seems sensible. Good idea.

      Like

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