I just ended my marriage. And I did it by texting a bunch of Internet memes to my wife.

It started with a creepy habit I developed. I’ve been talking in my sleep, muttering things like “pretty girl” while tapping on my wife’s shoulder incessantly. At first she didn’t make much of it, brushing it off as a result of me staying up too late re-watching Breaking Bad.

Then last night I muttered something that would bring my relationship to the brink. This is the conversation.


 

We ended up talking shortly after I sent that last message this morning. After more than a decade together—first as high school sweethearts, then college hopefuls, and now as young professionals—it was all over.

I have so many questions. The most pressing one is, do you think I could get a TV appearance for this?

Most of what you’ve read above is a complete fabrication. My wife and I have indeed been together for 10 years, but we aren’t having relationship issues, and there is no Tiffany. 

The texts are real, but that’s not my wife, it’s me. The blue text is a friend roleplaying as me. The whole process took all of 10 minutes to write and paste together in the collage you see above.

This is the oldest way to dupe people into believing fake text messages. Then, of course, there’s sites like ifaketext.com, iphonefaketext.com, and www.ios7text.com that allow you to fabricate messages even easier.

But why let an obvious hoax prevent us from telling a funny story about a kid who broke up with his cheating girlfriend with Internet memes?

That kid would be Kane Zipperman, a 17-year-old whose text-message breakup has gone viral.

These text messages have helped Zipperman net more than 30,000 new Twitter followers and get his story relayed on Buzzfeed, CNET, and Metro. The BuzzFeed story alone has collected more than 817,000 views. 

A look through Zipperman’s Twitter timeline reveals a teenager trying to cultivate a certain persona. You’ll find a rape joke and some racial slurs.


 

Zipperman has flirted with online notoriety before. He’s the teen who wore a tiger T-shirt to last year’s Masters tournament. The shirt helped make Zipperman an Internet fixture after it was featured on TV.


 

BuzzFeed claims Zipperman has a “viral spark.” He has more than that—he’s got a grasp of just how easy it is to fool media organizations. And he’s not the first.

In April a teenager named Dillon Henderson landed headlines on Vice’s Motherboard, Complex, and the Daily Dot after he started releasing videos claiming to be the leader of 4chan and a master hacker. Henderson was able to prove he was indeed a real person but could not show his “master” hacking skills at work.

Does it matter that Henderson may not be the technological wunderkind he claims to be in his loud mouthed videos? Probably not. He had the viral spark—a memorable story and the audacity to make himself Internet-famous. And the same essentially goes for Zipperman. 

Despite how insanely easy it is to fabricate text messages, no solid evidence has been provided by Zipperman to disprove his claims of a cheating ex-girlfriend. The Daily Dot has reached out to Zipperman for some verification. 

But in the age of the Internet hoax, it should be harder for teens like Zipperman to get famous. Good Photoshoppers are a dime a dozen. 

Illustration by Jason Reed