Why smart girls keep a ‘Doomsday File’ of every guy they’ve ever slept with

Anyone who's ever gotten in a stupid fight online knows the importance of having the receipts. In the immortal words of Cardi B, if you've got evidence that she said she gon' do what to who then you've basically already won.

Written or recorded evidence to back up your claims about someone else's shitty behavior or deception makes your argument infinitely stronger. Just ask receipt-holding exposure queen Kim Kardashian.

But screenshots and voicemails can be so much more than fuel for a celebrity drama fire or slander in the group message. When someone says something shitty to you online, or even messages you to apologize for bad behavior in real life, that message could very well be the linchpin in an accusation of sexual assault or harassment.

That's why you need a doomsday file – a folder on your computer of unedited screenshots of any interaction you have online that feels "off" or "creepy," and any conversation you have with someone who has assaulted or harassed you in real life. That way, if their behavior escalates or another person accuses them of bad behavior, you'll have the goods to back those accusations up.

In our current accusation-friendly climate, it might seem like you can say anything about anyone and have it catch on, and that's kind of true — if you already have a massive platform to begin with. I'm not saying that it isn't brave of women like Lupita Nyong'o and Rose McGowan to come forward with their tales of their creepy encounters — it absolutely is.

But because they're already public figures, their accusations have a certain level of legitimacy that the average person's wouldn't. And in a case of he-said-she-said, it's much more difficult to get an abuser to face actual consequences.

It might seem cynical to document every interaction you have online but honestly, you're probably already doing it. From group chats to Finsta posts to the Creepy PMs subreddit, we truly let no weird DM from a guy you talked to like twice in high school go unshared. So why not organize all of that information in one place for easy access… just in case.

I, for instance, have a folder on my computer with screenshots of conversations with an ex who told me he had terminal cancer after I dumped him and then didn't die. I know he didn't die because he looked at my LinkedIn profile two weeks ago. And if he ever tries to go into politics, like he often talked about when we were dating, I will drop that shit on any possible platform.

Even if your screenshots aren't quite admissible in court, they could very well be sufficient for getting someone in trouble at school or at work. And just knowing that someone is documenting their behavior can keep a creep from bothering you again.

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