'Number neighbour' - why this texting game has gone viral

If you receive or have received a message from WhatsApp from an unknown number with the text "Hello number neighbour", you have just become part of a reignited fad that has gone viral on social media.

What is a ‘number neighbour’?

A ‘number neighbour’ is someone who has the same mobile phone number as you - except for the last digit. To be number neighbours the final digit of the number must be either one higher or lower than the last digit of your phone number.  For example, if phone number is 640225884, your number neighbour would be 640225885 or 640225883. The number neighbour game simply involves sending a message to your respective ‘neighbours’ and sharing whatever response you get on social media.

The internet has gone wild for number neighbours. Twitter has sent number neighbours viral with thousands of number neighbour responses shared on the popular social network.. Responses can of course be positive or negative, but regardless Twitter seems to be the go to place to share experiences.

According to Know Your Meme, the origins of this challenge is from back in 2018 when someone messaged their ‘text door neighbour’ and shared the response on Twitter - which subsequently went viral. The Urban Dictionary described a ‘text door neighbour’ as "the people who are a digit either side of your phone number.”

This rather peculiar game has once again gone viral. A popular example of number neighbour sharing is from Twitter user, @Jamsito, who sent a text message to his number neighbour and asked his followers to do the same. This tweet received over 21,000 retweets generated a long thread of responses.

Whether taking the challenge for challenge sake or trying to stave of boredom, it's certainly become a popular one. Surprisingly numerous friendships have formed thanks to the "number neighbour" game. One interaction even led to a number neighbour being given a potato casserole.

It is perhaps unsurprising that many people ended up blocking their ‘neighbour’ - as let’s face it, despite the funny side of these interactions, it’s all a little strange.

One of the most share responses on Twitter was someone who introduced himself as the "upstairs neighbour" and received the following answer: "Maybe you're getting the wrong person, because I live in an attic. In other words, only God is higher than me in this building".

Have you tried texting your number neighbour it? Are you intrigued by the idea of talking to a complete stranger - who simply happens to share a similar phone number as you? You might want to start by apologising for all the times you gave your wrong number out on purpose…

Remember, stay safe - think before you type.

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