NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Thousands of people may have gotten very awkward text messages Wednesday night.

If you woke up Thursday to a weird text that seemed totally out of place, you aren’t alone. A mysterious wave of missives swept America’s phones overnight, delivering largely unintelligible messages from friends, family, and the occasional ex.

Friends who hadn’t talked to each other in months were jolted into chatting. Others briefly panicked.

Nearly 170,000 numbers received texts that were just delivered, but were actually sent on Valentine’s Day!

Phone companies blamed others and offered no further explanations. The glitch happened on all four major carriers and on both Apple and Android devices. Text experts describe the issue as an “internal maintenance cycle.”

“I thought I was being hacked or something,” Jamie Park told CBS2.

The 24-year-old quickly realized it was something less serious and much more embarrassing.

“I was like, oh, why is my ex-boyfriend texting me?”

She and her ex split back in April and haven’t really spoken since, until recently, when her phone company unexpectedly delivered to him a very old text message she tried to send on Valentine’s Day.

“He was saying ‘haha what?’ and he was like ‘what are you talking about?’ so we were both confused.”

Park like many others figured out that people were getting some of her old texts that failed to go through when her sister and a co-worker both got texts that she had sent in February.

“I mean, that would just be extremely awkward,” Ronak Sheth of Chelsea said.

A Sprint spokeswoman said it resulted from a “maintenance update” for messaging platforms at multiple U.S. carriers and would not explain further. T-Mobile called it a “third party vendor issue.” Verizon and AT&T did not answer questions.

“This is something that was pretty widespread and it’s pretty rare for something like that to happen, you hardly ever see that,” Lisa Eadicicco, senior tech correspondent for Business Insider said.

Marissa Figueroa, a 25-year-old from California, got an unwanted message from an ex she had stopped talking to — and then he got one from her as well. Neither actually sent them last night, both said. Figueroa couldn’t figure it out, even worrying that her ex was messing with her, until she saw reports of this happening to others.

“It didn’t feel great,” she said. “It just was not good for me and my mental health to be in contact with him.”

A friend who’d just re-entered his life got a mystifying message from Joseph Gomez at 5:32 a.m. Thursday. In that text, Gomez seemed to assume she was on her way over to his house so they could order a Lyft.

It took a half hour of back-and-forth texting and help from a screenshot to clear up the situation. Can their relationship recover? Gomez, 22, said it was “confusion, then awkward, and then funny.” No mixed messages there.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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