Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Next Door

Sometimes social media is a pain.  Sometimes it makes me worry that kids will never understand what it means to be "disconnected" or to wait for a response, rather than the immediacy of text messages and Facebook updates.  Are we over-exposed, hyper-addicted, desperate for attention and "likes"?!

Regardless of your opinion, it is the world that we live in and there are great benefits too.   I am able to keep in touch with peripheral college friends and people I studied abroad with  thanks to Facebook.  That's a fact that simply would not have been possible if not for social media.

But the benefits of social media haven't only been a link to my past, but also a connection for my future.  I live in a city-suburb about 15 minutes outside of Boston.  Our neighborhood is a mix of young professionals, elderly people, and immigrants.  It is slowly experiencing its own gentrification.  However, most of us, myself and my family very much included, are too busy to get to know our neighbors and although we've lived there for 8 years, I don't think I knew a single neighbor's name.  Just recently, the woman across the street flagged me down and asked for my email address so she could invite me to join "Next Door".   It's a very simple website that allows you to map your neighborhood and invite neighbors to join your site.  From there, you can make postings about things happening in your community, a recommendation for a housepainter etc., or just general getting to know who lives in all of these houses.   It's been a great resource.  Turns out, I'm surrounded by some very interesting people ---- I had no idea!

Anyways, keep it in mind if you want to get to know your neighbors a bit better or if you already know them and just want a more convenient way of connecting with them.   It's simple, straight forward and I think it fills a basic need that we're missing in today's "super connected" world.