The Startup
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The Startup

The Time I Snuck Into Someone’s Life

And they got an insight into mine.

I recently moved to another country and got a new SIM card. The What I didn’t know was that that number had very recently belonged to someone else, and had been recycled by the company and given to me.

It started out by a friend messaging the number on WhatsApp (I was still using my Kenyan line for WhatsApp). She ended up having an almost combative conversation with this random guy because she thought I was messing with her and playing a prank. Multiple people thought I was ignoring them because they sent a message to the ‘wrong’ WhatsApp number (LOL).

On my end, I was and am having a hard time getting an Uber account since my new number is associated with someone else’s account.

I decided to get in touch with the former owner of the SIM card on WhatsApp to ask them to update their number on Uber and WhatsApp etc. They were nice enough but it was taking too long.

So…I changed my number on WhatsApp.

That’s when pandemonium hit.

I first got added to a Russian WhatsApp group and I was super confused since I didn’t realize it was connected to the number switch.

I got in touch with the group admin to get more information. I got out of the group and had to explain to A LOT more people who I actually was and why I left the group. I kept getting calls from different people asking what happened.

I then got added to a bunch more groups…including the guy’s family group! I started exiting each of them and deleting them.

I felt like I was seriously invading this other person’s life. I had a strange, impermissible insight into his life for a few hours and wasn’t sure how to get out of it or let him know.

The only upside to this whole nightmare was that I had a fun few hours where I got to know a dentist-in-training in Russia. Everything else really left me reeling and feeling like a spy or a “peeping Tom”, even though I hadn’t meant to.

To the person out there whose life I snuck into for a few hours: I’m sorry! Didn’t mean to at all.

To the phone company: Y’all are hella irresponsible. Please don’t do this shit. Leave the recycling to other things and not phone numbers. Please and thank you.




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Aleesha Suleman

Aleesha Suleman

Identity, personality and relationships: works-in-progress. Join me in the unearthing of myself through my writing. Karibuni!

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