WATCH — What happened when I texted my “number neighbour”

Mydel Antolin
Story by Mydel Antolin • CBC Kids News • Published 2019-08-21 08:13

Is there a dark side to this friendly trend?

A new trend is picking up steam online that attempts to turn strangers … into neighbours.

The idea appears to have started on Twitter by somebody with the handle @ryanlavalleee, and has now spread to a bunch of different social media platforms.

Called “number neighbour," the idea is to text the person who has the phone number that’s one digit away from yours in either direction.

Add or subtract one from the last digit of your phone number and — voila! — it’s time to meet your number neighbour.

Here’s what happened when some Twitter users took the plunge:

1. Area 51?!!!

Screengrab from phone shows this text conversation: Oh shoot I was gonna ask if you wanted to go to Area 51 with me. Dammit, I thought I marked my calendar for that but I forgot to take off. I'll see if my boss will let me. We've been looking for more workers so what better place, am I right? True true. My mom said she can take us either there or back, but not both.


2. NO.

Text conversation on phone screen says Hey number neighbor. Followed by this response: No.


3. A housewarming gift!

Screengrab of cellphone screen shows this conversation: You're my number neighbour, what's up! Hi neighbor, I baked you a potato casserole to welcome you to the neighbourhood. Mmmmm potato casserole. Do you want it or not?


4. Wait a second… you’re my brother?

Text conversation to contact with the title male sibling says You're my number neighbour, what's up? Response reads: Oh hi Jenny.


Safety summary

Yes, dialing your number neighbour seems like something fun to do if you’re bored.

But you never know what will happen when you text a stranger.

So here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Never send any personal information, including:

These are all details a creeper could use to find out more about you.

2. You should never harass or bully.

If things go too far, the police could get involved.

3. Never meet your number neighbour in real life.

Scammers, catfishers, hackers and identity thieves are everywhere.

This trend is an easy way for them to find you.

Predicting the next trend

Internet trends are often surprising.

I mean, who would’ve thought that texting a number above or below yours might be your ticket to going viral?

Maybe the next challenge will actually involve going out of your house and physically meeting your neighbours in real life.

Now, that’s scary!

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About the Contributor

Mydel Antolin
Mydel Antolin
CBC Kids News Contributor
Mydel Antolin is an ambitious and enthusiastic 16-year-old from Toronto. Aside from being a CBC Kids News contributor, Mydel enjoys posting fun content on her personal YouTube channel, playing instruments such as the piano and guitar and being an advocate for mental health and women’s empowerment. Mydel is also an aspiring actress who has landed roles in various musical productions including Asaka in Once On This Island and Miss Honey in Matilda.
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