Home Advice & How-ToFun The Top 10 Compass Articles of 2021
Home Advice & How-ToFun The Top 10 Compass Articles of 2021

The Top 10 Compass Articles of 2021

by Fred Decker

Year-end reviews are a pop culture staple, and for good reason.  A year goes by so quickly it’s hard to remember everything that happened, no matter how informed and engaged you are.  Looking back at the year is a useful way to see how things have changed and how we’ve changed with them. 

That’s why we’ve once again compiled our annual list of the 10 most popular articles on Compass.  Some things are consistent year-over-year: Collectively, we’re still miffed about scam calls and curious about how to find people.  The most noteworthy change from the top 10 list of 2020 is that we’re apparently feeling less secure in our relationships.  Three of the articles on this year’s top 10 list revolve around potential infidelity — up from just one, last year — and another is about how to improve our relationships.  

The big question is whether this trend will continue for another 12 months, or whether a different theme will dominate next year’s list.  For now, though, here’s what most interested our readers in 2021.

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1. Want to Find Out if Your Partner Is Cheating? Look for These Apps

There’s an app for everything, which certainly holds true for infidelity.  Relatively few apps on your partner’s phone represent “smoking gun” proof of cheating — even a Tinder account can be innocuous if that’s how you met, a few months ago — but taken together with other signs of cheating, it can be a serious red flag. 

2. These Five Phrases May Be Signs of Infidelity

We did say that a preoccupation with infidelity was a significant theme this year, right?  Most of the conversations that take place within a relationship are unexceptional, but there are a few phrases that should make your ears twitch if you hear them come from your partner’s mouth.  You probably don’t need us to tell you that “This isn’t going to work out” is a bad omen, but a few of these other phrases might have you raising your eyebrows. 

3. How to Do a Catfish Phone Number Search to Uncover the Truth

This is one of two articles from last year’s top 10 list that made the cut again this year.  In a way, it’s not surprising, because like the infidelity articles, it speaks to a degree of uncertainty in your relationship: In this case, the one you’re having online.  

So how do you find out whether the person you’re interacting with is legitimate, or a catfish?  Spoiler: Spokeo’s people search tools are your best defense against online heartbreak. 

4. Everything You Need to Know about Social Media Cheating

It’s one of the fundamental questions of modern life: How do you draw the line between harmless online flirting and social media “cheating” that might in turn lead to a real-world affair?  It’s not necessarily as clear-cut as it was in the days before smartphones, when flirting (mostly) happened in person and could get “taken to the next level” on a momentary impulse. 

Appropriate limits are something every couple will need to negotiate individually, but we can at least help you recognize the signs that a flirtation is getting serious. 

5. Can You Find Out Who Is Searching for You Online? 

Everyone loves a good reunion story, and there are plenty of them in Spokeo’s archives.  (Pro tip: You’ll find lots of them gathered together in this blog’s Connectors category.)  Of course, the underlying assumption in these heartwarming tales is that the person you’re looking for actually wants to be found.  But what if you’re not sure who’s looking for you and what their motives are?  It’s difficult to find out, but we have some suggestions.

6. How to Find Someone’s Cell Phone Number by Name

Back in the days when almost everyone had a landline phone number, they also had their number listed in the phone book. (Remember those?)  Even now, it’s relatively straightforward to get a landline number from directory assistance.  Calling directory won’t help with cell phone numbers, though, so you’ll need to find other options. We’ve got you covered. 

7. Phone Scam Area Codes to Watch Out For

This is another article that’s back in the top 10 after making the list from 2020 as well.  Improved robocall legislation (and just as importantly, enforcement) is slowly whittling away at the volume of scammy and spammy calls we all receive, but there are still far too many.  

Fortunately, you can look up incoming numbers individually using Spokeo’s Reverse Phone Number Lookup but you can save yourself the effort if you already know which area codes are most likely to be used by scammers. 

8. Searching for Someone? How to Track Them Down the Right Way

It’s not that the tools aren’t out there, but you may not have the knowledge to put them all together.   Connecting those dots for you — and explaining how you can use Spokeo to tie them all together — is what this article’s all about. 

9. How the Five Love Languages Can Improve Your Relationship

Finding or fearing infidelity wasn’t the only reason relationships factored into our top 10 list for 2021. There’s an old saying that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and that absolutely applies to relationships.  In this mid-summer article, we gave a brief explanation of author Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages, and how you can apply them with your own partner. 

10. From “Unknown Caller” to Outright Scam: Understanding Caller ID Messages

One of the side effects of that updated robocall legislation we mentioned earlier is that it empowered the Caller ID system to become more informative.  Depending on the call’s characteristics and source of origin, it’s now possible for your phone carrier to make some educated guesses about whether it’s likely to be a scam or spam call.  Those new-and-improved messages might be a bit confusing until you get used to them, so we put together a quick primer to get you up and running. 

Same Time Next Year!

It’s impossible to know what the coming year will hold (show of hands, everyone who had “multi-year global pandemic” on their 2020 bingo card).  It’ll be fascinating to see whether our current interpersonal insecurities show some staying power, or whether they’re a symptom of pandemic stress and perhaps just a bit too much time together.  

One thing we can safely predict: Whatever 2022 brings, Spokeo and this blog will be here to empower you and guide you through it safely.