Progress! An app that sends a breakup text for you

BreakUp Text is an app that does the dirty work for you. Because, well, why bother telling your lover sayonara yourself? Who needs the grief?

Chris Matyszczyk
3 min read
So charming. So useful. Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It's so tiresome when you've had enough of your lover, isn't it?

You have to make up some reason why you don't want to be with them anymore. Then you have to decide how to deliver the news.

Do you at least face them in person, look into their eyes and watch the hurt course right through them?

Or are you the modern type who just sends a text and has done with it?

Even if you are, what should the text say? "Oh, I felt the passion had gone in the weeks after both your parents were killed in a car crash"? Or perhaps: "I hate the fact that you've actually discovered who I really am, so you've got to go"?

It's sometimes hard to put the appropriate message together using just acronyms and emoji.

Fear not, my faint of heart, for here is the BreakUp Text app. You've longed for it almost as long as you've longed for human decency and a new Elton John album.

BreakUp Text has a level of humor. You can choose to tell your ex that you were eaten by a bear.

But it heightens the humor by also penning long, heartfelt messages that gnaw at the craw and elicit simpering sympathy.

I paid 99 whole cents just to see for myself what this app would write to a serious (and seriously controlling) ex -- an utterly fictitious ex, you understand.

It penned this:

Hi PollyPot, I know you expected to make it to our next anniversary. Maybe beyond, who knows? There was that one night we named our maybe-babies. That was cute. You're cute. But it's over between us. We've drifted apart. It's not just your impotency, it really isn't. And no, this isn't about that girl at work. It's us. Ever hear the song Cape Canaveral by Conor Oberst? Of course you haven't, that was one of our issues. Anyways, we're like that. A poltergeist love. And I need an exorcism.

Then I tried to discover what the app would write if she had been merely a casual love.

This is what the app delivered:

Hi, PollyPot, there's plenty of fish in the sea, huh? I know it's a cliche but there's truth in it. You never know who is coming up around the bend. See, after the last time we met up, I ran into my college professor. She was my favorite, just the smartest woman you've ever heard talk about the history of the French revolution. Anyways, it turns out she recently divorced, her husband left her for a library sciences professor. Long story short, we're in love. I know it seems sudden but life is sudden like that, you know? Anyways, best of luck finding your fish.

The texted breakup is largely de rigueur these days. After Katy Perry revealed that Russell Brand had dumped her by text, who might not think this was entirely normal?

With BreakUp Text, there's a certain callousness of tone, however. There's a certain dismissiveness that suggests PollyPot was little more than a lost cause searching for paid volunteer work.

One of BreakUp Text's creators, Jake Levine, explained to Fast Company that though this was all quite funny, it isn't entirely.

He said: "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."

It seems, though, that some users might not see it as a joke -- or might, as sometimes happens among techie types, have no sense of humor.

Levine explained: "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."

I fear, though, that BreakUp Text may have to expand its literary offerings. There will need to be far more options, far more delicate and varied messaging, and, perhaps, far more nuanced delivery.

I feel sure that several readers might wish to contribute their favorite breakup texts in order to help BreakUp Text become everyone's go-to option for the go-to-hell text.

Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET