Co.Design

Don’t Break Up Over Text! Have This App Do It For You

BreakupText is an iPhone app that pokes fun at our connected culture. But the scary part is that some people have (probably) used it.

Nobody wants to be dumped by text message, and not just because it’s impersonal. A text is inherently casual--a quick smattering of pseudo-thought cranked out on a whim--and to couple that with severing intimate emotions can be cutting to the core.

Which is why BreakupText is so hilarious.

With just a few quick icon taps--select guy or girl, serious or casual, and whether you lost interest, found someone else, or were eaten by a bear--this iPhone/web app can send an extremely long-winded explanation as to why you won’t be seeing someone anymore. My breakup text looked like this (and it spanned five whole messages, to show how much I cared):

My dear Johnny, I know you’ve been wondering where I’ve been. I don’t know how to tell you this, but you know how Sara always acts like an idiot when wasted? Well, on our camping trip we saw a bear and she antagonized it. I know you hate when Sara acts like that. Well, I do as well. Because that bear unhinged his jaw and shoved me into his stomach. So yeah, I’m stuck in a bear. Somewhere upstate, it doesn’t feel like this guy moves a lot, I’d ask you to come find me and cut me out but maybe this is for the best, you know? We were fighting all the time, I hated my job, my parents are still upset I didn’t become a lawyer…as I sit in this dark acid hole, I can’t think of enough reasons to punch my way out. So remember me fondly, make it sound like I died a hero. Love you. -Mark

The app was created by Jake Levine and Lauren Leto, and it was originally inspired when a co-worker told Levine about his friends’ adventures in Hong Kong. They’d meet women at bars, exchange numbers, then see the impulsive relationships fizzle out when the sun came up.

“There was at least one time when the girl didn’t respond--which obviously happens when you pick up people at the bar,” Levine explains. “So they thought it’d be hilarious to send really long, emotional, dramatic breakup texts.”

Indeed, the app’s genius is its input-to-output ratio. It takes all of five seconds to send a 162-word breakup epic, which is an extreme ease-of-use scenario that doubles down on the vapidness of sending a breakup text in the first place. (And that’s entirely the point.)

“As much as we did it as a joke, it has sort of captured a moment in time when tech is becoming more pervasive in our lives and relationships,” Levine explains. “Somebody wrote a post saying, ‘This app isn’t very good, my breakup texts are always a lot better.' Which I found sort of funny.”

Indeed, the only thing better than giggling at the hyperbole of BreakupText is knowing that there’s someone else out there who doesn’t see it as absurd at all. Or as Levine puts it:

“Here’s the scary thing. If five to ten thousand people used BreakupText on the web, and even half a percent used it seriously, that’s like a couple people who may have actually used it.”

Though to be fair, some contingent of the dating population does suffer from the occasional bear attack.

Try it here, or download it here.

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1 Comments

  • Tiana Kai

    It would be great if an option was 'I went to go to KFC and can't find my car'.... wasn't there a famous family in the news back in the 80's where the dad 'went to go food at KFC' and never came back?