Turns out, calculator apps and relationships have a lot in common. Now, we’re all guilty of either checking the weather or doing random numerical on our phones when we anxiously walk past a group of people our age. It’s perfectly normal to do so, but if you’ve ever stumbled across two calculator apps on your partner’s phone, TikTok has some bad news for you today.
First exposed by user @nuggetonair, people are now cheating on their partners using a fake calculator app. Yes, you read that right.
“If you’re dating a guy and you go into his phone and you type in the word ‘calculator’ and he has two calculator apps, he’s cheating on you,” @nuggetonair is heard saying to the camera. Sounds absolutely bonkers, but how does a secondary calculator app suggest infidelity? “Because one of them is a secret photo album for nudes,” the user concluded.
The fake calculator apps in question are available on both Apple and Android devices, so it looks like no one is really safe from tech-savvy cheaters. For Apple users, the 52.5 megabyte (MB) app is dubbed ‘Calculator# Hide Photos Videos’. “It looks like a Calculator but it secretly hides your confidential Photos, Videos, Documents, Passwords, Notes, Contacts and To Dos,” the app’s description reads. “It disguises itself as a Calculator to make it impossible for prying eyes and hackers [to] discover it.”
While you can hide photos and videos from your gallery, the app also has an option to delete these files from your phone’s storage when you move them into its secure vault. Featuring multiple locks, the app additionally includes a ‘Panic Switch’ that quickly switches to another screen if it detects a shoulder surfer or snooper trying to peek at your display. Meanwhile, the app’s ‘Disguise Mode’ confuses potential hackers by displaying a fake crash notification and its ‘Hack Monitor’ can tell you exactly who’s been trying invalid passwords to open your vault.
For Android users, the infidelity app exists as ‘Calculator – photo vault’ by FishingNet. This app is even more advanced than the previous example and includes an ‘Intruder Selfie’ feature that actually snaps a photo of the snooper using the phone’s front-facing camera whenever the password is entered incorrectly. Google Photos and Apple iCloud could never.
To clarify, both the apps in question aren’t exclusively made to house nudes but are often used for that purpose.
“Facts. And now we are getting divorced 🤷🏻♀️,” a user commented under @nuggetonair’s video. “New fear unlocked 🔓,” another added. “Shhhhhh! You can’t share that info! Bro code #468,” a third warned as others advised to check the storage space for both calculator apps to make sure your partner isn’t doing the dirty.
At the same time, a quick search for the keyword ‘calculator nude app’ would land you in a rabbit hole of people both using and discovering the app’s nefarious purposes:
The bottom line is, if you’re in a relationship and want to maintain healthy dynamics with your significant other, avoid downloading a sus calculator that isn’t actually a calculator. A second app isn’t really necessary unless calculus is your jam anyways…
Cheating is not so uncommon. According to a 2015 YouGov poll, one in five Americans admit to having been unfaithful within the context of a committed relationship. On top of that, many of those who haven’t actually been unfaithful have at least considered it: 41 per cent of men admit to thinking about cheating on their partners, as opposed to 28 per cent of women.
Fast forward to 2019, and with the usage of dating apps come easier ways to cheat. According to another YouGov study, one in six people who are using dating apps are doing so to cheat on their partners. Millennials are more likely to cheat using a dating app, with 11 per cent of the respondents confirming they are using dating apps to cheat on their partner.
Cheating—micro or otherwise—is less about a particular type of behaviour, and more about the keeping of secrets. So what exactly is micro cheating, and does it really count?
Micro cheating has previously been defined by relationship experts as behaviours that hover near the mutually agreed upon boundaries in your relationship that comprise fidelity. In simpler terms, it ranges from logging on to a dating app to see what’s out there to forging emotional relationships that are more emotionally (and sometimes sexually) charged than your typical platonic connection.
Speaking to NBC News, Ty Tashiro, psychologist and author of The Science of Happily Ever After: What Really Matters in the Quest for Enduring Love, defines micro cheating as “a relatively small act of emotional infidelity with someone outside of a person’s committed relationship,” which mostly occurs through apps, texting, or online interactions.
Let’s say, for example, that you’ve been in a somewhat happy relationship for almost three years now. Things are good, comfortable, but perhaps too comfortable? So you decide to redownload Tinder on your phone, just to have a scroll through it, not for anything else of course—you wouldn’t actually meet anyone, you just want to window shop.
Technically, simply doing that is considered micro cheating, and the same applies if you matched with someone on the app or even texted with them a bit.
Tashiro believes so: “Though micro cheating does not involve physical contact with someone outside the committed relationship, it’s important to avoid the temptation to overemphasise the ‘micro’ part of the phrase and remember that ‘cheating’ is the operative word,” he says. “When one betrays a partner’s trust, there are always emotional consequences for the partner’s well-being and the integrity of the relationship.”
So, according to Tashiro, yes, micro cheating counts as cheating. But what if micro cheating could be differentiated from straight-on infidelity depending on how much your secret interactions affect your partner when they find out? Meaning, while one person might feel hurt learning that their partner downloaded a dating app just for the thrill, another might find the idea exciting and join in on the fun.
Then again, if you look at this example from another angle, someone might even consider texting with a new crush full-on infidelity—it’s a matter of perspective and personal experience.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to condemn or praise you for micro cheating, I just want you to look at the reasons that might have compelled you to do so (or at least consider doing it). Like with my previous example, most micro cheating is done on impulse, just for a bit of excitement. You don’t go completely overboard, yet you still get a rush from it.
It’s completely normal to find other people than your partner attractive—anyone saying otherwise is lying to themselves. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it when someone else flirts with you. This shouldn’t undermine the fact that you’re (hopefully) in a happy relationship with an attractive partner with whom you have great sex with. Just don’t act on it. Look, but don’t touch, as they say.
In a way, micro cheating is a wandering eye 2.0, meaning that depending on how often the eye wanders and whether it lingers, infidelity can become a problematic possibility. In 2018, Florida State University conducted a research which examined how couples married for just over three years reacted to photos of potential partners. Those who quickly looked away from the photos were less likely to cheat than those who didn’t look away as quickly.
A good, lasting relationship should be founded on trust. And let’s be honest, micro cheating isn’t exactly proof of trustworthy behaviour. Once trust is gone, it is most likely that a pattern would appear from it.
A study published in Archives of Sexual Behavior found that those who strayed in their first relationship were three times more likely to stray in their next relationship, while those who suspected their partners were cheating on them were four times more likely to think their next partner was as well.
That’s why, micro cheating or not, honesty is the best policy. Secrets are what will pull a relationship apart, so just be honest and straightforward with your partner. Are you not happy anymore? Tell them, and try to discuss why. Are you bored? Same here, just start a conversation. If you can eliminate the lies and secrets, your relationship will be much stronger.
If you (or your partner) continue to micro cheat, then perhaps this should be seen as a warning sign that you (or they) are insensitive to the other person’s needs and well-being. If someone in the relationship isn’t honest and doesn’t respect the other’s feelings and boundaries, your problem might be more macro than micro—you might be better off without each other.