23 Sep How Social is Your Neighborhood?

It’s no secret that today’s average American neighborhood is much different than the neighborhoods of the past. And what’s changed the most are the neighbors living in the neighborhoods. In a world of people who are more focused on social media than socializing face to face, it is common for most families to only know one or two of their neighbors by name, or in some cases not to know their neighbors at all.

Your neighbors are the people who live their daily lives (literally) next to yours, whose children probably go to the same school as yours, and who may share some of your interests; so getting to know them could lead to new friendships, opportunities and connections. And while you may not like to think about it, knowing your neighbors could make a huge difference in the outcome of an emergency situation.

So, how do you break the ice and get in contact with your neighborhood? NextDoor.com offers a compromise of sorts between our culture’s social media fixation and the desire of many neighbors to interact with those living right next door. Launched in 2011, the unique social media platform has steadily been gaining popularity with neighborhoods and HOA’s across the country. Each neighborhood registered on NextDoor.com receives its own secure social network. The network is password protected so it cannot be stumbled upon in search results, and it requires each new member to verify their address, so users can rest assured that what they post to their neighbors is only seen by their neighbors.

NextDoor opens the door for communication between neighbors about anything and everything. Reporting suspicious behavior in the neighborhood is probably the most important use of the platform, especially since the iPhone app features push notifications and the ability to send and receive urgent messages directly from your phone. But you can also use the platform to introduce yourself to your neighbors, sell furniture you no longer want, invite your neighbors to a backyard barbeque, and recommend (or ask for a recommendation for) the best babysitter in the area. The best part of this platform is that encourages interaction between neighbors off line. Everyone needs a break from tweeting, status updates and selfies once in a while. As NextDoor says in their manifesto “We’re all about online chats that lead to more clothesline chats.” Maybe knowing your neighbors will encourage you to power down the laptop for a while and go for a walk.

HOA Manager? Neighbor looking to connect? Learn more about NextDoor.com here.

Sibet B Freides