I remember distinctly a time when my friends and I used to give boys fake numbers. It sounds mean, but it was just way easier than saying no to someone’s face. Our preferred method was using a local pizza place’s number in place of our own. I figured at least when they called they’d be able to get a nice snack as consolation. One hot slice to replace another, right? Wink.
Nowadays I usually either just cave and give the number (men are pretty crafty these days with the “oh let me call/text you right now so you have mine too” verification method), or I muster up the courage to say no or change the subject. BUT! HARK! There’s a new app that will make all of this a thing of the past.
Meet: Burner—the free app that lets you protect your identity and real number by getting temporary and disposable digits.
So, in addition to the conundrum of giving guys on Tinder your real number for that first date meet-up, you can use Burner for CraigsList sales, or as a business line. Basically any time you aren’t ready to share your real number, but need a way to communicate. Bonus, it sounds like a cool thing a spy would use.
So here’s how it works:
You can whip up as many ‘Burner numbers’ as you want. They work just like any other phone number and you can call, text, and even have voicemail.
The app is free, as is your first Burner number for seven days (with 20 voice minutes and 60 text messages). Then you can buy other numbers as you need ‘em (oh and there’s no contract so you can peace out whenever).
You now have a way to separate your personal communication from your business ones from your online dating ones. AKA more trust, more privacy, more CIA-esque feelings.
When you’re finished using the number, you can “burn” it at the push of a button to take it out of service (as you walk away from a burning car like Liam Neeson).
Kinda genius, huh?
Offhand, here are 5 reasons why I’ll be getting it:
For the sheer joy of ‘burning’ a number and not having to do any sort of ‘hey, listen, I’m not really interested anymore, no hard feelings’ garbage text. (It feels slightly avoidant but I love it.)
There’s a guy I matched with on Hinge once upon a million years ago who still texts me every now and again. Nothing crazy but if I had a time machine I’d go back and give him a burner number and then poof! He doesn’t have my phone number anymore (Okay, I’d do a lot of other things first if I had a time machine, but you get my point).
I have my eye on a coffee table on CraigsList and while I trust this woman’s taste in furniture, I don’t trust her having my very personal phone number!
How cool would it be when things start to get serious with someone to be like, I’d like to do you the honor of bequeathing you with my actual phone number. He’ll be delighted and honored.
Since I work from home and for myself, I never get to fill out the ‘work phone number’ area in forms anymore. A burner number would help me be more impressive since I could list it as my work phone and watch as the contracts and dollars just pour in.
See? And that’s just the beginning. Don’t forget the spy stuff I said earlier.
I also think from a ‘best practices’ perspective, the idea of keeping your real number private is a great one and will help avoid what I am now calling ‘digi-regret’. Bonus: it will make your mom rest easier.