Remember borrowing a cup of sugar? No? Too far back? What about saying good morning to your neighbor as you both pick up your newspapers that the paperboy just tossed onto your front porch (or into a bush)? Borrowing some hedge trimmers? Remember when someone would show up at your house just to say hi without calling or texting first? Remember grilling burgers and hotdogs, having a beer with the neighbors while everyone’s kids ran around the yard? Remember when all the kids in the neighborhood would get together to ride bikes and it felt safe because there was always at least one parent keeping an eye out for them? Remember welcoming the new family to the neighborhood with a freshly baked cake?
Maybe some things are the same. But it certainly does seem that in the era of social media, we have become strangely anti-social. Our towns aren’t as tightly knit as they once were. We have the ability to connect with people on the other side of the globe, others who may share similar interests or points of views. Yet, we fail to connect with those geographically closest to us, our neighbors. We may have far less in common with someone a few houses down than someone we connect with via a Facebook group. However, having dialogue with and developing a relationship with someone with differing perspectives can certainly have a positive effect on how we collectively function in society.
It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a village to do a lot of things. Our villages have become fragmented. Perhaps the tool that has contributed, in part to the decrease in face to face interactions can be used to reconnect people on a local level. It’s definitely worth a shot. We know that people want and need that connection back. See how Nextdoor has taken on that task in the video below.