Are you a member of your neighborhood Facebook page? Have you installed the Nextdoor app on your phone? While both of these sites/apps can be sources of frustration filled with passive/aggressive posts, studies show the benefits of these groups outweigh the negative. Additionally, being part of your neighborhood online group helps keep your community safer.

Benefits of Online Neighborhood Groups

Connection – If you’re new to the area these online communities are a great way to meet the neighbors. Welcome Wagons are a thing of the past, unless you make a concerted effort to meet your neighbors, it’s going to be difficult to get to know everyone. The online Facebook groups and Nextdoor communities provide an easy way to meet people without having to leave your living room.

Crime Prevention – Both Nextdoor and Facebook Neighborhood Groups are places where residents post local crime that might not make the 6 o’clock news or local paper. Crimes such as garage break-ins, auto theft, vandalism, and other crimes that are too small for police to actively patrol. Knowing that your neighbor’s garage has been broken into keeps you alert to your own garage and to that of your neighbors.

Access to Local Government – City council, the mayor and local police will often post to Nextdoor and Facebook pages. This is a way to directly reach community members and keep them involved with what is happening in the community. Whether it’s proposed road work, a new stadium or an area of town that needs to be evacuated, a neighborhood page is one of the first places where you’ll find information.

Sense of Community – In addition to security and government access, your local Facebook group or Nextdoor page can provide you with community events and activities. You can find out about community gardens, your local co-op, or community theater taking place – just to name a few. Want to spend the weekend at garage sales? You’ll find them conveniently listed on both of these websites.

Technology has provided us with wonderful means to go out and meet our neighbors and community leaders. It’s never been easier to be part of the community and get involved in making the neighborhood a better place to live and work. Nextdoor and Facebook neighborhood pages are both free to join. Simply sign up with your email and start meeting your neighbors.