Hopefully, You Know Your Next Door Neighbor. But Do You Know Your Number Neighbor?

Known as the number neighbor or text door challenge, the way it works is that phone users just text the phone number that is the same as their number, except the last digit is either one number higher or lower.

The original texter is then supposed to post screenshots of the resulting conversations on Twitter.

Here’s the tweet that started the latest online viral challenge:


At this point, the challenge is two months old, but I am just learning about it now (no surprise there), thanks to an article in the Wall Street Journal.

Maybe it’s an age thing, but I just don’t get it.

I don’t think this is what Mr. Rogers had in mind when he sang, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

I can see why the recipient of one of these unsolicited text messages would be upset; it’s like an invasion of privacy. Plus, the recipient would likely assume it was spam and just react accordingly.

Don’t these people already have the phone number of somebody they know whom they can text and then have an intelligent conversation with?

If you’re trying to expand your social network, it seems like there are much better ways to do so.

I understand that there is the potential thrill of connecting with someone and forming a relationship with that individual in such an unusual way. But the odds of such an event seem astronomical.

It seems like your time would be better spent getting involved in activities that you like; thus increasing the odds you meet someone with the same interests as you.

Now while I have no interest in sending a text door message, if I received one I would certainly respond in a friendly way.

I also know the conversation would end pretty quickly once I mentioned that I was an accounting teacher.


22 thoughts on “Hopefully, You Know Your Next Door Neighbor. But Do You Know Your Number Neighbor?

  1. Oh gosh! Really, who comes up with these challenges! Yeah, I feel the same way, you are correct about this not being the way Mister Rogers would handle being a friendly neighbor! This would not be a good way to try to make me a friend, though like you I would be polite. πŸ™‚


    1. I was thinking the same thing as you, Joy. What would motivate someone to reach out and randomly contact someone just because they have similar phone numbers? In the end, it seems kind of harmless, and perhaps could be fun as well.


  2. We are in different times. Believe it or not I don’t know any of my neighbors and I sure wouldn’t text an introduction. Building relationships should not start with a text. But we have to thank technology


  3. Oh my Jim! I have no words! 😢😱😷

    Interesting! I believe in reaching out in LOVE to others …. and yet, I know real meaningful relationships require precious time, trust, investment of genuine care and warm concern …..I’ve never been a fan of insta-friendships …. I believe we can all plant the friendship seeds along the way …. although we need to give others the respectful time and space …. and choice to meet us halfway…. Love your post ….. it really got me thinking …. πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’š


    1. thanks, Yeka. It is a strange way to meet people, but then again swiping left and swiping right may have been considered strange a few years ago as well. have a great day!


  4. A colleague of mine kept receiving calls and messages for someone else. After a bit of sleuthing, she found that this person’s phone number was one digit off of hers…they were number neighbors! My colleague then contacted this person to let them know they were missing some important information and, surprise, surprise, they did NOT become bff’s! What a crazy challenge…but maybe safer than some other ones I’ve heard about.


    1. It was nice of your colleague to contact the other person, and I’m shocked they didn’t become bff’s πŸ™‚
      I agree that it seems a little odd, but relatively harmless.


  5. Sounds like a ridiculous idea, i wouldn’t want strangers rinigng me up. Our children used to tell us off for talking to strangers! I don’t mind chatting to random strangers when we’re out or on holiday.
    I have just thought of another creepy idea. Probably there are other roads in the country with the same name as yours and probably the same number – Google your street name in another town, aim for your door number, find out the post code, put it in your satnav and go and visit them!


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