If you’ve just received a random text message wishing you a happy Valentine’s Day, you’re not alone.
A mysterious wave of heartfelt missives from nine months ago have swept across America’s phones overnight Wednesday — some from people who are no longer alive.
The long-delayed “ghost messages” were sent from and received by both iPhones and Android devices, and appeared to have involved all major carriers in the US, according to The Verge.
The total number of messages sent due to what was described as an “internal maintenance cycle” was 168,149, CNN reported, citing Syniverse, which provides technology and business services to telecommunications companies.
People shared their time-warped experiences on social media and Reddit, where they described receiving messages from former flames that resulted in awkward conversations.
Others said messages came from friends or relatives who had since shuffled off this mortal coil.
Samantha Majorczak, a college student in Arizona, said she received a text that said “How is your day going?” from her dad — who died in March.
“I immediately started crying,” Majorczak told The Washington Post. “He used to text me every morning, and after going eight months without any messages, I was in complete shock.”
One Twitter user who goes by KuribHoe said: “I just got a text from my bestfriends phone only issue is she’s been dead since February.”
“It was a punch in the gut. Honestly I thought I was dreaming and for a second I thought she was still here. The last few months haven’t been easy and just when I thought I was getting some type of closure this just ripped open a new hole.”
California resident Barbara Coll said she received an old message from her sister saying their mom was doing well, but she has been dead since June.
“I haven’t stopped thinking about that message since I got it,” Coll said. “I’m out looking at the ocean right now because I needed a break.”
Another person said a text message she fired off in February was received by someone who is now her ex-boyfriend, according to The Verge.
The result was “a lot of confusion,” said Jamie, adding that “it was actually kinda nice that it opened up a short conversation.”
Alana Johnson, a kid’s librarian at the LA Public Library, said the glitch resulted in her boss receiving a text from her at 1:15 a.m. saying she would be out sick.
“Thankfully she was kind about it,” Johnson said.
A Sprint spokesperson said a “maintenance update” caused the glitch.
“The issue was resolved not long after it occurred. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused,” the rep said.
T-Mobile blamed the error on a “third party vendor.”
“We’re aware of this and it is resolved,” a spokesperson said.
Verizon referred CNN Business to Syniverse.
“We apologize to anyone who was impacted by this occurrence,” said William Hurley, chief marketing and product officer at Syniverse. “While the issue has been resolved, we are in the process of reviewing our internal procedures to ensure this does not happen again, and actively working with our customers’ teams to answer any questions they have.”
AT&T, CNN’s parent company, did not respond to a request for comment by the network.
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