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Knowing Neighbors is Good for Your Health

August 21, 2014 3 Comments

Our community in midtown Tucson started using the Nextdoor app six months ago.   We now have 7% of our households in the area enrolled and communicating. This is a real change for us since few of the residents knew many other people in the vicinity. We still have more recruitment to do, but it is pretty easy and natural to grow the membership once the site gets started.  This startup from San Francisco was started in 2010 by techies to meet a need that seemed obvious to them.  Social media has made it possible to be in touch with folks around the world, but statistics showed that local communication was grinding to a halt.  A third of Canadians and half of Americans did not know the name of a single neighbor.  If you live here this should not shock you. Close knit communities are a distant memory for America.  Gangs, vandalism, and drug related crime have a chance to thrive when nobody knows each other.  Tagging and theft become a regular part of life when the entire population is isolated from each other.  Nobody wins.

Nextdoor is a private way for neighbors to connect and start to improve social fabric of a place.  Crime and safety is one of the topics frequently discussed.  Like our counterparts across the nation I think it has been shocking to start to learn about how much crime is going on constantly all around us.  Eventually, when we have more membership, I am sure it will become more difficult to commit crime without being busted by neighbors with cameras.  We all look forward to that day since our cops are neither responsive nor communicative.  People do complain about lack of law enforcement, but that will have no effect on the situation.  Some angry citizens feel that owning many guns will protect them and their property, but I think this is a fallacy.  One of the most common items stolen in break-ins is a gun.  Heavily armed communities are not safer than those with a healthy respect for private property and a strong social fabric.  They may be more dangerous and are probably depressed about what they perceive as a need to be heavily armed at home.

Here are a few good reasons to start using Nextdoor in your neighborhood:

  • You meet interesting people
  • You find out there is crime going on around you all the time to which you were oblivious
  • You have a chance to form special interest groups such as garden, pet lovers, or book clubs
  • You have a place to ask for recommendations when you need work done
  • You have a place to ask for help finding a lost pet
  • You can advertise your yard sales and services to a very local audience
  • You can organize events and parties for social fun in your vicinity

I hope you will join us in creating safer more appealing neighborhoods through communication. Use this link to go directly to the Nextdoor site for more information and to join.


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