An mysterious epidemic has been sweeping the iPhone community over the past few days. Known as the "effective power text," a nonsensical string of "effective," "power," and various Arabic, Marathi and Chinese characters is crashing messaging apps and rebooting phones across the globe. Fortunately, if you program your messaging app not to show previews of your texts, you can avoid this ailment, right? Well, not if you use Twitter or Snapchat. As it turns out, the same iPhone-crashing message has also hit Twitter and Snapchat: If it's transmitted through Snapchat text chats or through Twitter mentions or direct messages, it will unleash a whole new brand of awfulness upon the unlucky recipient.
While theories on how this bug got into the iPhone have abounded, nobody knows for sure. Equally mysterious is why someone would want to test how many ways they can make their phone crash — but, thanks to whoever tried it, you now know not to send that message you were clearly about to send over Twitter and Snapchat. But how will I ever tell my Twitter followers about effective power لُلُصّبُلُلصّبُررً ॣ ॣh ॣ ॣ 冗??
At least with Twitter, your phone turns back on after the crash — and it looks like you can avoid the problem altogether by turning off your notifications, which I would recommend doing (you never know when a troll might have it in for you). Similarly, Apple has released some fixes for those who have received the power effective message over text using Siri or the Photos app.
But when sent over Snapchat, the message permanently crashes your phone. So, if you've ever wanted to get revenge on someone who abused their Snapchat privileges by screenshotting a private message, you now have the perfect opportunity to do so...
...But seriously, guys. Don't do that. Do not send the effective power text to anyone over any medium, because it's a terrible thing to do.
The message also disables you from opening your Snapchat history with the person who sent it, though you can still message other users (that is, if you can get your phone back on). I'd probably avoid Snapchat altogether if I were an iPhone user — though I must admit that I don't use Snapchat anyway, because I'd rather just text someone a picture. But maybe that's just me.
But honestly, given the emotional bonds people form with their phones, you might need some therapy in addition to these technological fixes if your poor device is victimized by cyberbullies on effective power trips (get it?).
Now, let's just hope we don't find out some Internet browser is susceptible to this bug. If we do, I apologize in advance for breaking the Internet.
And in the meantime, I'll just sit safe and sound with my Windows phone. Because this is the one time in my life that having a Windows phone has come in handy.
Images: Giphy (4)