You meet a guy. He's cute. Drives a car with a six cylinder engine. Knows the difference between “they're” and “their.” He makes you smile with a witty remark and you reward him with your phone number.
And then the text messages begin. Before you get a chance to share a meal with this crazoid he reveals he not only uses far too many abbreviations, but he's also inept at cellphone photography and – from what you can tell – his penis is shaped like a hook.
But shit. He's got your digits. That means he also can find out your address, your last name, and if he's cunning he probably can finagle a way into your Hulu Plus account. And that's just not safe.
Enter MyAKA (My Also Known As) – an L.A.-based startup that provides the user with a second mobile phone number that connects callers to your cellphone without ever revealing your real number.
With a MyAKA number it's 100 percent impossible to look up your personal information because none of it is linked to this set of 10 digits. The area code remains local and no one will know that you're using a privacy service.
And there's even a pause feature that puts all incoming texts and calls in a queue, sending callers straight to voicemail, so should you be out on a date, at work, or volunteering at the local children's hospital your phone won't start blowing up from all of the cards you handed out at the bar the night before.
The phone will still be on, allowing for emergency and outgoing contact, but nothing coming into the phone from the outside world will disturb what you're doing. And once you're ready to receive your messages, just switch it to “resume” and you'll get all the sexts, drunk dials, and awkward blubbery voicemails that you've been
Oh – and the best part? You can block anyone you wish would disappear into the abyss. That means you'll never have to store phone numbers in your address book with a skull and crossbones next to their names and the memo reminder, “Crazy asshole who threatened to eat my cat.”
We imagine MyAKA could be useful in all aspects of life, not just dating and fucking around, but those are the only things we're considering at the moment. Sure, meeting people and juggling dates will become easier to organize, but the most important part is your newfound safety.
Especially in the wondrous world of online dating, having a barrier between you and all of the scumbags out there will protect your physical and emotional well-being, as well as your identity.
And should you find one who doesn't make you wary, bestow unto him your true phone number as the first step toward developing a healthy relationship. He'll appreciate the gesture, especially knowing he no longer floats among the losers, heathens and stalkers you're blocking from your real life.