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My Ex Blocked Me on Social Media — But He Forgot About Venmo

Photo: George Marks/Getty Images

I get it. He’s trying to move on. He wants a more balanced chakra, a stronger sense of self, an all-around better life, one that he’s determined precludes my presence or even slight involvement. It’s fine, really, I’m over it — mostly.

I don’t care that he’s blocked me on Facebook. I know what I’m missing. (Statuses about Flume’s underrated discography.) I’m not bothered by his blocking me on Twitter. (The absence of Bernie Sanders merch retweets and 9gag memes on Stormy Daniels haven’t left a gaping hole in my life.) I also don’t particularly care that he blocked me on Instagram; I’m not really craving the pseudo-scenic view of his nearby hiking trail and the muscle shirts he buys a size too small. I don’t even want to get into the mental gymnastics that go into blocking someone on LinkedIn. How crazy do you have to be to prevent your ex from seeing your résumé? But also how crazy do you have to be to keep track of how good your ex is getting at Adobe Acrobat, or create a separate account to see he’s had six more endorsements since March? (Did he do something incredible with a PDF?)

The thing is, I honestly don’t care that I no longer have the ability to follow his life moment by moment on any of those apps. Because he forgot to block me on the most important one. Venmo, where friends don’t let friends get away with “Yeah, chill, I’ll pay you back for the toilet paper,” has given me more insight into his overall state of being than any glamorized social network he blocked me on ever could. In-the-dark exes, rejoice! Our time of reckoning has come. We owe it to ourselves to invade the privacy they totally forgot we had access to.

Do I have a “right” to digitally monitor my ex-boyfriend? Is it “healthy”? These are questions for legal experts and mental health professionals. Here’s what I know: In a world where Instagram provides an exact figure on the number of times Starbucks has misspelled my classmate Derek’s name, or where Snapchat can inform me that everyone who told me they were busy is actually at the bar around the corner, a complete exile from social media is just, quite frankly, not fair. I have the inalienable 2018 right to know the most basic discoverable facts about my ex’s current diet, sex life, hobbies, biking routes, gym workouts, or anything about his deteriorating lifestyle, given that he has chosen to continue it without me. I’m pretty sure this is in the Constitution?

There are three major feeds of transactions you can access from your Venmo account: Your own, your friends’, and finally, the public’s. The latter gives you access to the monetary transactions of anyone who hasn’t set themselves to private (hint: many, many people. Also hint: my ex.) Here, one can peruse the mundane payments made across friend groups, roommates, colleagues, and families. Now: the exact numerical figures are a mystery. But it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the deal behind those ten payments within six days, all of them using the “beer” emoji.

Transaction 1: From Ex to ‘Adam’*: A moon, three sperm emojis, two Queen’s Guards

POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS: Either he’s decided to experiment on their spring break trip to London after years of friendship, or he’s exercising his due diligence and paying for part of Adam’s Pornhub Premium account with some exclusive “British accent” category. It’s entirely one or the other.

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Transaction 2: From ‘Denise’ to Ex: “oops…50 bucks deep”

POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS: Amateurs in the realm of risky sexual behavior will scratch their heads, but any disheveled woman knows that’s the exact price of a little pill called “Plan B.” I see his premature excitement is not just confined to his million-dollar start-up ideas.

Transaction 3: From Ex to ‘Kara’ and ‘Ryder’: “cocaine”/”tight acid bro”

POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS: After some rigorous friend-based crowdsourcing to decipher this, the results were unyielding [From the Group Chat: “Melania stop,” “wtf,” “no one thinks this is funny.”] But despite their lack of knowledge, I didn’t have it in me to give up. I went shopping for a reputable version of Urban Dictionary, and finally had my Sherlock moment: These were drugs. Do these people know they are recording their narcotic-consuming habits for all of posterity? I’m really glad “Kara” is providing him with some agreeable stimulants to use at his leisure. What a catch. Although from what I can glean by her 2009 side-bang and New Age Traveler glasses, she’s probably in the process of finding herself.

Transaction 4: From ‘Austin’ to Ex: “american challenge zamboni bitch”

POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS: By this point, I’ve become a master of what I do. You are the MIT students befuddled at the equation on the chalkboard. I am Matt Damon. I was able to decrypt and solve this string of incoherent toddler garbage in steps:

Step 1. Based on what I know from my regretful share of frat circulation, the “‘Great’ American Challenge” is a competition in which teams of four attempt to first consume a 30-pack of beer, then an eighth of an ounce of marijuana, then two large pizzas, and then finish a 100-piece puzzle, the way our Founding Fathers envisioned.

Step 2. Zamboni: That thing you always wanted to drive on a skating rink. Incidentally, 19-year-old boys have hilariously co-opted it to mean sucking up spilled alcohol off the floor during a party. Ingenious.

Step 3. I found out that zamboni-ing also comes with monetary fines from the party host, a.k.a. Austin, to the spiller, a.k.a., my ex.

Conclusion: Austin’s floor now has herpes.

Transaction 5: From Ex to Vihaan: “Dane Cook lfgggg”

POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS: For those of you who are slightly in shock, wondering “wait a minute … does Dane Cook still do stand-up?” A quick Google search let me know that he is, in fact, touring in June. However, when typing into the search engine the follow-up “why?” and subsequent “what the fuck?” it came up blank. It was at this precise moment, the moment that I ran out of answers, that I realized Venmo had finally set me free. Being unable to solve the motive behind why anyone who’s not a 14-year-old boy with burgeoning impotence would use their financial assets to watch Dane Cook made me realize that it must be because there isn’t any. Hence, that’s who I’d been dating this whole time.

My Ex Blocked Me on Social Media — But Forgot About Venmo