There's always a small danger when someone else looks at our phones because there's literally no way of texting what will pop up on the screen. This could be a weird app notification or a seemingly dirty text message. While it makes sense to us, the other person will have no idea what's going on, and will need an explanation! If one thing's for sure, it's that these people will be using the "Do Not Disturb" setting for the foreseeable future.
People on Reddit share the worst notification they got while someone else was holding their phone. Content has been edited for clarity.
"I’m a teacher and a girl was on her phone. I’d asked her a couple of times to put it away. She’s a great kid, and I typically take the phone to hold onto until the end of class just trying to get them to focus.
A few minutes pass and a notification popped up on her phone. It caught my attention just because it’s a noise. I didn’t try and go through her phone or anything. But the notification said, 'You’re ovulating soon.'
At that point, I just figured I’d give the phone back to her. She saw my face, was puzzled, looked at her phone, and started cracking up. She’s a great kid that every teacher deserves."
"When I was in high school a few years ago, I was being dumb and texting on my phone. I didn’t notice the teacher, but she saw me texting and asked me to give her my phone. I regretfully did.
Unfortunately, at that same moment, a kid in the back of the same class texted my phone asking, 'Hey, do you have a few grams of weed you can sell me?'
The teacher managed to grab my phone right when he sent the message.
The teacher proceeds to ask a question, so loud every student can hear it, 'Hey, Dylan what does weed mean? I didn’t know you were into gardening!'
"I was showing my mum some cake ideas for my wife's 30th that I was considering. My wife texted me and my mom (for unknown reasons) got a full view of my wife's private areas with the caption, 'Guess what you're eating for dessert tonight?'
I tried to grab my phone back, and my mum went back to browsing cakes without skipping a beat. As I was leaving my mum thought it would be funny to ask, 'Would you like a second dessert tonight, because I have a trifle in the fridge?'
I nearly died of shame."
"I used to be the director of an a cappella group. During rehearsal, I would project sheet music from my tablet onto a big screen to help people follow along. We were having solo auditions one day, and after one girl auditioned the assistant director texted me from across the room, 'Oof, that was awful.'
My tablet received the message, and the notification was displayed for everyone in the group to see, including the girl who had just auditioned."
"I was using my flatmate's desktop Mac, and as iOS users will know, any notification you get on your iPhone will appear on-screen on all of your other Apple devices.
I was on the computer in his bedroom while he was in the kitchen grabbing a snack, and he received a phone call from an unknown number. I saw this notification on his computer, which gave me the option to answer the call for him. I thought it would be funny if I took the call before he could answer it on his phone, meaning he would have to run through to his bedroom where I would be silently laughing myself to an early grave.
I click to answer, expecting it to be some kind of cold-call. The voice on the other end, amplified by my flatmate's gratuitous Sonos speaker setup, said:
'HELLO, THIS IS THE POLICE.'
My soul left my body. I absolutely cannonballed out of his room, making the most apologetic eye-contact I have ever made with a human being. Turns out he had been caught red-handed in a 'traffic incident' on his way back from an interview, and they got his contact details from the dashcam footage of his registration plate. They were calling him in for some questioning.
It was a wonderfully devious experience which I was absolutely not prepared for, and we have never spoken of it since."
"Years ago, I was working at an Apple Store as a Genius (technician) and was helping an older woman with her phone. This woman had to be in her late 60s early 70s, as sweet as could be and was having some minor issues with her phone. I think it was battery life or something.
So she hands me her phone, and just as she does a message popped up with a picture of a toilet full of poop. The message read, 'How many times do I have to tell you to flush the freaking toilet?!'
Not knowing really what to do, I just hand it back to her and tell her she has a message.
She takes the phone, half-smiles, closes the message, and hands it back saying, 'Sorry about that sweetheart, my daughter can be a bit of a brat.'"
"When I was in high school, my friends and I had the habit of giving each other funny contact names on our phones based on jokes we came up with. To this day, my high school friend’s contact names are things such as River Brat, Jeff the Sleeper, Baby America, Sugar Mama, etc.
When we were juniors, a girl who was obsessed with my friend led to his contact name becoming 'Booty Lord' with some rather suggestive emojis following it. Everything was fine and dandy, until a few months later when I had forgotten about it.
I was applying for a leadership position in a club I was a member of, and was required to get two letters of recommendation. For the second letter, I asked one of my teachers, who happened to be a very conservative man in his late 70’s, if he could write one for me. Being the lazy son of a guy that he was, he told me to write the letter myself saying all the things I wanted him to say, and he’d sign it.
After I finished typing up the letter, I handed him my phone to let him read and approve it before I printed it out.
About 45 seconds after I gave him my phone, he (very loudly and incredulously) said 'Booty Lord?' and gave me a horrified look and shoved the phone back into my hands.
That was hard to explain."
"I did this to my roommate once. Background, he’s a professor at a college and I’m a first responder.
We usually would leave around the same time in the morning for our workdays, so I knew he would be awake if I was bored at work and wanted someone to harass. On this particular shift, my first call out of the chute was a prolapsed butt. Of course, I had to tell someone about this medical marvel, so who do you think I texted just shy of eight am?
He had just plugged in his Mac into the projector. Low and behold, the text message 'Nothing like starting your day than with a prolapsed butt' pops up on his screen for his entire class to see.
Yeah, I got an earful that night and he changed his computer messaging settings."
"I had lent my brother my phone the day before, and he's really into furry stuff. While using it, he went and posted some NSFW comments on a furry blog.
So the next day I was trying to show my friend and his mum the timetable for the next GCSE exams and low and behold, a notification comes up for a furry blog popped up. Let me just say if my friends mums face after reading the message could kill, I'd be six feet under. She promptly asked me to leave, and I had a lot of explaining to do when I got home.
0/10 wouldn't recommend."
"My boyfriend left his phone on the sofa while he excused himself to use the restroom. A text popped up, tone and all, and I automatically looked. We had great respect for each other’s privacy, so of course, I didn’t read it. I did, however, see the name. He came out of the bathroom and I asked who 'Jane' is. He’d never mentioned a woman named 'Jane.'
'My niece,' he answered. He came from a large family and I couldn’t keep track of all of his nieces and nephews. We went back to the movie we were watching and I never thought if it again.
We had a wonderful relationship and great respect for each other. The kind of love that I thought had been made up to sell books and movies. It was the most real thing in my life. I had been twice divorced and it was only with him that I learned what real love is. My own parents didn’t love me that much. I wasn’t just happy with my life, I was ecstatic. Nothing else mattered because I was truly loved. Five years of absolute bliss.
I agreed to work late one day and I was texting with him during my break. He told me of our plans for the night, going to dinner with his best friend, and said he’d tell him we’d be a bit late. I had to go back to work.
I got home that night to find the best human being I’d ever known had passed away suddenly while trying to get into the shower. Massive heart attack, they said. The only thing I remember is screaming and crying. It couldn’t end this way. He was far too young and healthy. Almost two years later and I’m still in shock.
Two days after he died, I got a message from 'Jane.' It turns out that Jane was the woman in his other life. As in, he had two lives. Another home, another woman. I still don’t understand how this was possible, but she had definite proof. Proof that she shoved in my face. She didn’t know about me, either, so I felt bad for her. Eventually, I found out that she was everything he couldn’t stand. I’ll never understand. I’ll never get over this. I’m just an empty shell now. I quickly stopped messaging with Jane, as I couldn’t take it.
All I remember about his infidelity is that text message. He’d never lied to me, so why wouldn’t I believe him? Now I have no idea what was a lie and what was the truth. He was the most important thing that happened to me. I thought losing him was as bad as it could get. Boy, was I wrong! I still don’t know where to go from here. What he did doesn’t make me love him any less, even though sometimes I wish it did."
"Many years ago when the iPhone first came out, my best friend had saved up to buy one. I was with him when he bought it, so naturally, he let me play around with it. As a joke, I went into his calendar app and set up a reminder for a couple of weeks later that would pop up and give him a laugh.
Fast-forward two weeks, I've completely forgotten about the reminder I set up and we're at a large house party. A bunch of people are hanging out in the living room talking, when someone notices his phone. Now everyone is super interested because most people hadn't seen an iPhone in person. Being the nice guy he is, he passes it around to let everyone get a chance to play with it.
No more than 15 seconds after he hands it to one of the girls, I just hear the notification alarm going off quickly followed by her yelling, 'What the heck is this?'
She hands the phone to one of her friends who just starts cracking up. My buddy finally asks what the problem is, and she shows everyone the notification: 'Touch yourself off all day.'
Watching my friend try to explain why he would never have set a reminder to touch himself all day, to a group of high schoolers that were practically in tears, was amazing. I finally confessed after 5 minutes and promptly lost all iPhone privileges."
"On a night out downtown, my friends and I decided in our trashed state we needed to be heroes to an incredibly smashed man who was passed out on the curb. We hailed him a cab, but the driver refused him the moment he let out a dry heave. I asked for his phone and he unlocked it for me.
His fiancé called at that exact moment, and he picked up but couldn't speak coherently. I explained the situation and she shared that she was pregnant and living cross-country so she was worried when he stopped responding to texts that night. The fiancé spelled out his password so that I could download a ride-share app for him, and stayed silently on the line as we waited.
All of a sudden, 10 chat notifications (all from different girls) popped up from a dating app.
I thought out loud, 'Woah he has all of these dating apps, but isn't he getting married?' before realizing what I had done. Needless to say, the fiancé immediately hung up and the police swept him away before the ride-share app could finish downloading."
"My (now) ex-boyfriend and I were pretty rock solid in terms of trust. I was in school an hour away, but came home for the July 4th holiday. Just the day before, I was carrying a convo through a messaging app with an old male friend that I recently found out lived near my school. I was just catching up, definitely had no intention of meeting him up alone (he’s been with a few of my friends, so he’d never even be an option to me even as a single lady). When he responded to my last message, I was cuddling in bed with my ex and decided to open the message.
It said word for word, 'That's funny, you should come over more.'
Insinuating that I’ve hung out with him before. I had no proof to show that I hadn’t hung out with him alone, not once, because the app deleted the chat history!
Our July 4th quickly went downhill, and we didn’t go to see the fireworks. Eventually I thought I gained back his trust by explaining to my ex that this guy is one of my good friends, and that I wouldn’t even open that message in front him if I was indeed cheating on him with this guy.
Well other events occurred later in our relationship, and things just got worse. It wasn’t solely because of this one isolated event, but dang did it make me look bad."
"I (a straight man) do a yearly show that's basically a burlesque version of The Nightmare Before Christmas in my hometown. I have a close friend (a woman) who is a killer dancer who I got an audition for this show years ago, and she's been in it ever since. As you might expect, you get pretty comfortable being a little flirty and seeing each other's bodies after years of being in the same room when other folks are changing in a burlesque show. The rest of the cast and I probably toe the line of the kind of talk that might be appropriate in polite society.
I had been working out a lot, alternating days of yoga and lifting, and was feeling comfortable with my body in a way I really hadn't before. That morning I walked into a yoga studio, I saw myself in the mirror and actually got a small chub from how good I thought I looked! The experience was so weird I started laughing in the middle of the yoga studio as other people in the room were trying to relax.
After class, I texted this to my friend: 'Have you ever seen yourself undressed in the mirror and thought you looked so good that you got a little turned on?'
Well, it just so happened that her boyfriend was holding the phone. Apparently he FREAKED out. She texted me something like 'Not interested.'
I spent the rest of the day feeling like an idiot because I thought I'd done something to make her uncomfortable or cross a line. She called me later, explained the situation, and said she wasn't actually upset, she just had to text me back something super pointed because he was basically having a meltdown. Apparently, his ex had cheated on him and he was kinda traumatized by it. I still felt kinda bad because I wouldn't have texted that to her if I'd known she was in a committed relationship.
They're married now, so all's well that ends well, I guess."
"My roommate texted me a screenshot of a LinkedIn notification she had gotten about someone she knew saying he had started a new role at my company. She was asking if that was really my company, not just some other place with a similar name and if we had hired this guy. I didn't recognize the name or picture of the guy, so I turned my phone to my manager who happened to be sitting next to me. She confirmed he had just started at the company.
While I'm holding the phone towards her, my roommate followed up her text to say she had gone to college with this guy. She went into further detail explaining that he's a horrible person who had tried to assault her while she was sleeping her freshmen year. Then she followed that text up with a request to not say anything about that to anyone at work.
"I was seeing a guy, but not seeing him because he knew his conservative parents wouldn't approve. After three months of essentially being exclusive, I let slip an 'I love you,' which freaked him out. After a long conversation, we agreed to separate but still wanted to hang out to play Pokémon Go! and walk the dogs.
Me being depressed and lonely, I messaged an old fling to meet up and he booked us a hotel for in a few days.
The next day when out walking the dogs, I'm in the park while my guy friends doing a raid for me. Suddenly he flags me to leave the park and he has the sourest look on his face. He hands me my phone and says 'Michael wants to see you later tonight.'
I went ghostly pale as we hopped in the car. He started calling me all of these horrific names, and said he couldn't believe I'd move on so quickly. I countered that we were never dating so there was nothing to move on from. He dropped me home and left.
That night he came back over and apologized, he said that the text had filled him with so much jealousy that he couldn't think straight. He was really sorry but it had made him realize that he didn't want me to be with anyone else, despite what his parents would say."
"My husband wanted to show me a message he received from his colleague. This colleague was really sweet and great, but a drop-dead hot woman. Anyway, he asked me to look at this message she sent.
The message read, 'By the way, my birthday is in a couple of days ;).'
Now I have never suspected my husband of being unfaithful and don't think he ever would. But at that moment. I didn't know what to think. Or say. I just looked at him while trying to think of how to ask him to explain without freaking out. He was confused and looked at the message. When he saw it, started laughing too hard to get a word out, and instead showed me an earlier message.
That day, I had made my famous carrot cake for him to bring to work for his birthday. The colleague had absolutely loved it and had written to him, 'Tell your wonderful wife thanks for the carrot cake!'
We both had a good, long laugh, and the next day he told the colleague what had happened. She also thought it was hilarious, but also apologized for the misunderstanding. All in all, the best result from a heart-stopping moment of heartbreak."
"My friend had her laptop hooked up to the projector in front of our whole class for a presentation. In the middle of her presentation, she had to switch windows or something and her texts were up.
One of them was from her boyfriend, and it said, 'I can't wait to ...' followed by some pretty graphic stuff.
My friend slammed her laptop shut with an audible crack and, in the process of trying to yank the projector HDMI cord out, she basically flung it off the desk. The screen straight up detached and shattered when it bounced off the edge and hit the ground. My poor friend just stared out across the stunned, horrified audience of our peers in silence for a good minute. Pretty sure her soul left her body.
Finally, our professor cleared her throat, said, 'Perhaps your boyfriend should enroll in my creative writing class...' and dismissed us.
I still cringe when I think about it, but it's funnier now than it was then!"
"At work, I'm a security guard, so I have a key to the lost and found. Recently, someone turned in a cell phone to me. I was in the middle of something so I told the person to just sit it down on my desk. Shortly after, the phone started ringing and ringing. I figured it was the owner trying to find the phone. Before I could answer it the person hung up, but in my swiping trying to answer it, I saw the person who owned the phone had a video up.
It was a home video of a lady getting railed from behind and then I saw her face. It was my super idiot coworker who has been in a lot of trouble with HR for saying borderline offensive comments to people in the office.
I put the phone in lock up. and about 20 minutes later here she comes in a panic asking if anyone turned in her phone she left it in the bathroom. I just played cool and gave it back. To this day, she has no idea I saw her dirty video of her making love with another one of our co-workers."