'Number Neighbor' Challenge Prompts Woman To Start An Advice Blog After Her Post Goes Viral

When Cecilia Grace De La Rosa participated in the "Number Neighbor" trend on Saturday, she never thought it would lead her to consider starting an advice column.

For the challenge, De La Rosa, 20, contacted her number neighbor, the person who has a phone number identical to her own, except for the last number. Like other people who participated in the internet trend, De La Rosa had no idea what kind of reply she'd receive. Number neighbors, like actual neighbors, have had an array of responses: from friendly to standoffish to downright belligerent.

De La Rosa's number neighbor turned out to be a preteen girl named Carolyn, whom she ended up having a "wholesome conversation" with.

"At first my number neighbor was confused until I explained to her what a 'number neighbor' was and then we continued conversing," De La Rosa told Newsweek.

The pair briefly discussed school (in De La Rosa's case, Baylor University, where she studies medical sales) before Carolyn asked De La Rosa for some advice on relationships. De La Rosa posted the text thread in a series of screenshots on Twitter, and the post went viral. What ensued was a wave of messages to De La Rosa on the social media platform, asking her for relationship advice.

is this like… a thing now? pic.twitter.com/fv1pluWozj

— c (@cgracedelarosa) August 5, 2019

"The pictures in my post are as far as the conversation went and then I texted her a day later and told her the post went viral. The post is continuing to be shared and I'm getting a lot of publicity," said De La Rosa. "I'm thinking about either starting an advice blog."

De La Rosa said she had received over 30 messages as of Thursday afternoon and that she had responded to every one of them. Most concerned relationship advice, though "some people asked for advice about college and some people just needed someone to talk to, about nothing in particular, just talk."

One person said she needed "boy advice" but didn't trust her friends.

As of Thursday morning, De La Rosa's post garnered nearly 42,000 likes and over 2,700 retweets.

The number neighbor trend went viral earlier this week when users who contacted their number neighbors began posting their exchanges on social media.

Some showed threads of conversations about vocations, living situations and relationships, while at least one users wrote that she and her number neighbor "[ended] up being friends."

But perhaps more commonly seen was disinterest, or even repugnance, among message recipients at the notion of a dialogue with their number neighbor. Most liked messages often included rather hostile responses from number neighbors. For example, one post that yielded nearly 2,000 likes featured a number neighbor telling the Twitter user to "get a job and stop texting me...our future is f****d with y'alls b******t."

Some message recipients didn't seem to grasp the concept of the "number neighbor," repeatedly asking how senders got the numbers they texted, while other number neighbors apparently ignored messages from senders altogether. A handful showed replies in a language that wasn't English, and some Twitter users revealed that they were "waiting for my number neighbor to text me first."

A girl chatting with WeChat on smartphone on a moving escalator in Japan
A girl chatting with WeChat on smartphone on a moving escalator in Japan Jiangang Wang/Getty Images