A few days ago, since we were experiencing such a beautiful, sunny morning, I left our house around 6:30 having decided to walk to my neighborhood coffee shop. I was halfway down our street when I noticed a woman who appeared to be returning from her morning jog.
As we got closer, we both recognized each other as neighbors who lived in adjoining blocks. We stopped and spent a few minutes quickly catching up and commenting on the great weather rather simply saying hello and walking past each other.
Prior to moving to this neighborhood; and more importantly prior to the wide spread use of social media, this simple act of talking with each other might not have occurred. More than likely we would not have recognized each other or may simply have nodded to each other and continued walking.
Approximately two years ago a few of us in this and two surrounding blocks decided that it might be fun to meet with our neighbors more than just once a year at National Night Out. That discussion was prompted by the high volume of attendees alongside the issue of never having enough time to speak with and socialize with everyone. A spur-of-the-moment decision was made to have monthly neighborhood “get-togethers” hosted by volunteer homeowners.
The pleasant surprise was that nearly all of the neighbors signed up to participate. In most cases neighbors who own larger homes take turns hosting the monthly Friday night gatherings. Those with smaller homes generally volunteer in non-winter months to take advantage of outdoor space. Neighbors are then notified and reminded about the monthly gathering via a couple of different social media applications. In addition, many of the neighbors have taken the step of linking with each other via Facebook.
The use of social media avenues has greatly aided our neighborhood residents in getting to know each other, keeping in touch, and more importantly helping us to look out for each other. While I can’t categorically state that our neighborhood residents would not have been as close without social media, it has without a doubt certainly made it much easier.