Viral Today: August 7, 2019

Remember decades ago, when a neighbor might welcome you to the neighborhood with cookies, or just a friendly knock on the door? What’s the digital age equivalent of that friendliness? Twitter users have an unusual answer to that question with the viral trend of texting your ‘number neighbor.’

It’s not just reaching out to strangers for the sake of getting a good screenshot that the internet is loving on August 7, though; people are also going nuts for a useless, but hilarious invention. 

Hey, Neighbor!

It started in the early days of August: a (probably extremely bored) Twitter user sent a text to the number that was exactly like theirs except for the last digit, which was just one number off. It took a few days for the trend to pick up steam as it circulated around the internet, but by the morning of August 7, it had gone solidly viral

Even businesses and organizations are playing into the hype by texting their number neighbors, an attempt of marketing teams to profit from the viral trend. 

For the most part, users simply send a text that says, “Hey, Number Neighbor!” and the responses vary wildly. One college-aged woman found that her number neighbor was a middle school girl, who she was able to offer some much-needed dating advice. Others don’t receive much of a response at all from their neighbors, and others still are met with heated requests that they not be contacted again. 

As uniquely modern as this trend might seem, it’s important to note that the idea of a number neighbor has existed in the Internet hive mind for more than 10 years. A 2008 Urban Dictionary entry defined the term “Text Door Neighbor” which is evidently a synonym for number neighbor, and a sound-alike for next-door neighbor.  

One Twitter user made the astute observation that the trend had turned the internet’s attitude from “don’t talk to strangers” to “hey I’m your number neighbor” in just a matter of days. Though it’s unlikely this trend has much shelf life beyond its August 7 peak, it’s been a somewhat unifying ride for participants. 

Other Viral Topics on August 7

  • The shoes the world loves to hate get turned into gloves

Crocs: people either love to hate them, hate to love them, or maybe even a little bit of both. YouTube and Instagram personality Matt Benedetto capitalized on those emotions when he posted a photo of gloves apparently made from crocs to his Unnecessary Inventions Instagram. 

He posted the photo at the end of July, but it took some time for the confused fresh eyes to circulate it elsewhere. Now the original post has more than 43,000 likes, and people on all corners of the internet have at least seen some version of the product shared on their platform of choice. 

Like many fads, Crocs Gloves probably won’t revolutionize the apparel industry, but they’ll stand out as a confusing and lighthearted viral trend of August 7, 2019. If anything, Benedetto almost certainly increased his following as a result of the wacky invention, which was likely the whole point in the first place. 

Back to You

Would you ever text your number neighbor, or reply if they texted you first? What would you think about slipping on a pair of Crocs Gloves for actual utility purposes?