The ‘text door neighbour’ trend: what is it and is it safe?

Have you received an unexpected text from a stranger claiming to be your ‘text door neighbour’?

That means that you’ve been caught up in the latest trend that’s got Twitter buzzing. But what exactly is it?

Have you texted your "text door neighbour"? (Photo: Shutterstock)

Have you texted your "text door neighbour"? (Photo: Shutterstock)

What is the trend?

The text door neighbour trend sees people texting their own phone number, but changing the final digit.

So if your phone number ended in 1234, your text door neighbours number would be the same as yours, but it would end in 1235, or 1233.

The trend actually started back in 2016, but it’s seen a resurgence recently, with users sharing their exchanges on Twitter.

Mixed responses

The responses people have garnered from their text door neighbours have been pretty mixed - some are happy to get engaged in the trend, while others have been less enthusiastic.

One Twitter user wrote, “This is the best day ever #TextdoorNeighbour #numberneighbors”

Another wrote, “They blocked me :/ #textdoorneighbor”

“My text door neighbor is so wholesome, I must protect them with my life,” tweeted another.

Texting a random number doesn’t always guarantee a response, as some users have found.

A user wrote, “Good morning to everyone except my text door neighbor who didn’t text me back.”

Another one tweeted: “Got left on read :( #TextDoorNeighbor”

Is it safe to text a random number?

While the trend may seem innocent, the dangers of giving your number out to stranger still apply.

In 2016, when this trend first appeared, The Guardian wrote, “Your phone number is all a hacker needs to read texts, listen to calls and track you.”

“Hackers have demonstrated that no matter how many security precautions someone takes, all a hacker needs to track their location and snoop on their phone calls and texts is their phone number.

“An attacker can track a person’s location based on mobile phone mast triangulation, read their sent and received text messages, and log, record and listen into their phone calls, simply by using their phone number as an identifier.”

On top of the possible consequences of giving your number away to a stranger, you also don’t know who you’re texting and what their intentions might be.

If you are considering texting your text door neighbour, be aware of the possible risks that comes with it.