Choosing to own an Android is like begging to be ghosted.
Texting, tweeting, and DM’ing are the default ways of communicating when you’re trying to feel out a crush. However, owning a phone with Google‘s Android operating system in a society that adopts the Apple iPhone as a way of life might be putting young, single adults at a disadvantage when trying to form new relationships.
Whether it’s the green text bubbles or the inability to send a fire GIF, millennials who own iPhones are often annoyed texting someone who has an Android and might be more likely to find other means of communication—or just give up altogether.
This is a phenomenon that I, a single Android-owning millennial who talks to somebody new about every other month, have experienced and observed. It sucks to be part of a generation that is obsessed with Apple products and will easily cast you as an outsider just because your emoji doesn’t translate.
Like most people my age, I used to own an iPhone, but after continually, accidentally shattering screens, enduring LED screen glitches, and wasting hundreds of dollars on repairs, I made the decision to switch over to an Android phone. I currently own an HTC, which has a better camera than the iPhone 7 in terms of megapixels and an actual fool-proof gorilla glass screen that has sustained so many falls I can’t keep track.
But what I didn’t realize before I switched over was that texting is a drag on an Android. I’ve since thought about returning to the iPhone many times. The texts don’t send as fast, fail to send more often, and you don’t have “read receipts” to fill the anxiety-ridden void of wondering if your crush will ever text you back.
Then, when you try to text someone with an iPhone, those problems get amplified. Apple’s exclusive operating system, iOS, acts like Regina George from Mean Girls, who won’t allow you to sit with her if you aren’t willing to dress like her.
A lot of my past relationships diffused for a lot of different reasons, but one that stuck with me was our texting habits. Many guys I’ve dated straight up told me to get an iPhone because they were annoyed with how inconvenient texting was, somehow judging my character based on my not having the correct text hue or being unable FaceTime at their command.
I found that a lot of my Apple friends were having more dynamic conversations using iOS-exclusive features like the new emoji sets and seamless group messaging with their significant others. When I texted these friends, I had to ask them to migrate our conversations over to Facebook Messenger because the loading and lag time between receiving 20 texts at the same time in a group message is enough to make you want to throw your phone against a wall.
It’s a struggle getting a text from someone and having to decode their tone while guessing what the two X’s in place of an emoji could possibly be. Often, I am left guessing if he is flirting, or if I said something that made him mad because I can’t see if he sent a geek emoji or an upside-down smiley face.
I will probably never know.
To test my theory out that Androids threaten the success of a relationship—and to double check I am not blaming my failed courtships on my phone instead of my misjudgments of fuckboys—I sent out an anonymous survey to a group of people between the ages of 18 to 27 years old to see if they were the iPhone snobs I assumed they’d be.
Out of the 30 people surveyed, 26 of respondents said that when they talked to someone who didn’t own the same brand of phone as them, the communication was just alright.
Multiple people said it was awkward that both phones had a different set of emoji, texts would send in a confusing disarray, and the conversation dwindled because the text bubbles were green. One person even convinced their significant other to convert to an iPhone because they couldn’t handle it anymore.
“It varies from person to person,” Skyler Hadley, 25, told the Daily Dot. “But I definitely think I’ve been blown off before because my text bubble wasn’t the color they wanted.”
Dealing with the disheartening green bubbles isn’t the only complication with communication. Android users aren’t able to send funny GIFs, and communication gets awkward when texts take too long to process and deliver. These complications have led some Android users dating an iPhone user to find other means of communication.
“It was not as quick and easy as iMessage so we usually end up using Facebook Messenger,” said one respondent.
There is something, of course, to be said about why people buy iPhones in the first place. There are those who buy iProducts because that’s what everyone else does. Then there are the folks who alway want to own the shiniest toy in the box. In an age where flexing your fittest outfit or your flyest set of acrylic nails can get you more followers, someone isn’t going to flaunt an HTC M9—they’ll opt for the new gold iPhone 7. This could signal a larger problem of shallowness and entitlement that makes it easier for an Apple user to write off less-cool Android users. (We can talk about why I’d be attracted to those guys in another essay, perhaps.)
But not all hope is lost. Of the survey respondents, more than half believed that a few tech-device roadblocks on the way to getting to know someone isn’t anything to worry about.
“People who care about stuff like that aren’t worth being with,” said a respondent.
This is true: Why even bother to pursue someone who cares about what type of phone you have? But when the majority of the dating world—at least in the initial “Are they worth it?” phase—relies on the quick, lazy communication of texts, it might be time to rethink where your priorities lie the next time your contract expires.