As your mama always said —it’s just good business to be friends with your neighbors. They’re the people who’ll tolerate your late night music, watch your apartment when you go on vacation, help you out in the case of burglary or fire, and lend their lawnmower when you really need it.
But for all the value of neighbors, they are essentially strangers at first. They can be weird, rude, or unfriendly themselves. It’s intimidating to reach out and embrace your community after a few bad experiences, and even more so if you’re not the best at socializing.
Social media is the new solution for those wanting to get the most out of the original “social group,” while still keeping their distance and protecting their own privacy.
Here are 3 of the greatest pros to socializing with the neighborhood through social media, and three platforms that can make it happen.
Pros of Knowing Your Neighbors Through Social Media
1. Pop in When You Like; Disappear When You Don’t
You can live in the greatest community around, but sometimes you still want to be anonymous. The friendliness is wonderful, until you want to go on a walk without being bothered. Social media lets you log on to hang out whenever you feel like it, getting the latest news, chit chatting, and building friendships. Then, when you’re bored or tired of it, log off —simple as that! There’s no risk of offense and there’s no risk of exhausting yourself.
2. They Can Know Generally Where You Live, But Not Specifically
While some social media pages, such as Nextdoor, require more specific information on your address in order to verify you’re truly a part of a community, others such as Facebook are more relaxed. This means you can chat with your online community but not divulge where you really live. Get on a neighbor’s bad side and don’t want your house egged? Don’t worry; you can block them and still enjoy the community, certain that your home and your privacy are guaranteed.
3. Get the Friendships You Want, Not the Ones You’re Obligated to
Those first days of socializing with your neighborhood are always fun. No one has had a chance to bring out their weird side yet. Then after a few days, you find out your supposed “friend” is actually pretty creepy and you can’t go get your mail without running into them. With social media, you don’t have to dodge people in a place that’s supposed to be homey and safe. You can get to know people online and develop a feel for who they are; if it works, then meeting up for coffee is easy. If it doesn’t, then there’s no need to take the back alleys.
The Social Media Sites to Make it Easy
Nextdoor is a newer social media site designed specifically for neighborhood communities. Go through their checklist process to determine who you are, where you live, and a few other details so they can verify you belong to a certain community, and then be connected to the group. Each member can create their own topic board where you can chat back and forth, with event planning at your fingertips.
2. Facebook Groups
Facebook is always a go-to for communities, and with the right attitude, neighborhoods can benefit especially. Nearly everyone has a Facebook profile, so it’s easy create a group for all to hang out in. You can personally “friend” neighbors you really click with, arrange events, share news or updates, or just start a few topics to encourage chatting.
Not quite social media, but still valuable, Whatsapp is a great way to get connected with other neighbors in a low-key setting. You never have to worry about going over your minutes. By creating a chat group, you and all your neighbors can speak together at once or take it aside individually. It’s casual, easy to manage, and lets you offer up less personal information than most social media platforms.
It’s not an all or nothing game. If you still want to be polite, make those friendships, and take advantage of what a community has to offer, but still want to keep your distance, then social media is the perfect answer.
from Apartment Living Blog https://www.forrent.com/blog/apartment-hunting/how-to-use-technology-to-socialize-with-neighbors/