Benefits of a Virtual Neighborhood
We all have that image of a perfect neighborhood in our minds. Everyone calls each-other by their nickname, there’s the smell of barbecue in the distance, and your neighbor is just across the fence if you need to borrow a lawnmower. But in this day and age, everyone is retreating inside with their devices. That’s not surprising. Today, you don’t even need to take a stroll to the local shop when groceries are always a click away!
But, believe it or not, the times when neighbors organize to make a better community are far from over. In fact – they’re just starting anew. Creating a virtual neighborhood online is a growing trend among local communities. People have reported that it helps them stay safe, informed, supportive of local community and involved in social life. If you’re unsure of whether your neighborhood needs to get connected, maybe these 8 benefits of a virtual neighborhood help you make the right decision.
One of the greatest benefits of a virtual neighborhood is staying informed. If you want to know about the events, school activities, birthdays, local marketplaces etc. but aren’t interested in your neighbor’s Facebook feed, a separate platform for your local community is a great idea!
It’s a good idea to convince your neighbors to get together on a different kind of platform. That way, you can keep tabs on school events, your children’s friends, neighborhood barbecues and fundraisers without looking at their private lives online.
Neighborhood watch just isn’t what it used to be. More and more kids today get in trouble online than on the streets. When you think about it: Virtually every crime in your neighborhood could be happening online before it even hits the street.
Luckily for you, organizing online with your neighbors helps the information flow quickly. And when the safety is your concern, knowing things early is vital. Today, our neighbors might be strangers. And if you’re wanting a safe neighborhood with your children, having your neighbors be strangers isn’t a good idea. That’s why one of the greatest benefits of a virtual neighborhood is a more organized safety net that cultivates connections, not distance.
Active Social Life
If you want to be a good neighbor, you have to keep tab of events. This is especially important if your children are in need of playmates and healthy socialization!
But, it’s hard to stay connected if you have a full-time job and kids to take care of. It’s hard to make that first step and ask what’s happening in the community, you yourself don’t have the time to organize a meet-up, and you don’t exactly want all your neighbors on Facebook just to keep track of local events!
In that case, a virtual neighborhood is a perfect place for you to keep track of events and other ways you can connect with your community. You can keep track of who your children are socializing with, and who knows – maybe you make a few long-term friends along the way.
Greater Local Support
While making friends and networking with your next-door neighbors is important, there is more to the community than that. Sometimes, those around us need help. Whether it’s to get rid of some junk and get money or to collect funds for a medical procedure. It’s important to nurture support in your local community, not just because it’s the neighborly thing to do, but because we could all use the help sometimes.
Greater local support is one of the most heartwarming benefits of a virtual neighborhood. It’s one of those amazing things that happen when people start working together and caring for each other.
An online platform for your neighborhood would also help support local businesses. Now, you can get a haircut from that nice lady down the street, ask for plumbing services from your next-door neighbor, or buy the best hand-crafted soup from the mailman’s wife, and create a self-sustained commune! Who knows, maybe one of those days, your neighbors will support something you’ve always wanted to do but never felt people would be interested in!
One of the greatest benefits of a virtual neighborhood is organized renting, buying and trading – with a minimal amount of hard-lifting. Think about it: Instead of organizing an entire yard sale by putting all your items outside and returning half of it after the sale, how about just putting them up online for all your neighbors to see? That way, your neighbors can browse the yard sale and pop by to collect what they need.
It works the same way with renting and trading with your neighbors. Peer-to-peer renting has a great deal to offer to neighborly life and should be an important part of your virtual neighborhood. You can make money renting anything, offer to take care of someone’s dog, or ask your neighbors for other small services that you can repay in some way. Once your whole community is online, you’ll see that you have everything you need in your neighborhood.
We all know that sharing is caring, and nothing rings truer when it comes to setting the foundations of a strong community. Organized renting and buying are neat benefits of a virtual neighborhood, but lending your things to others requires the next level of trust. Sometimes, we don’t know our neighbors too well, and can’t trust them with our things. But, the whole idea of a supportive neighborhood must include casually knocking to borrow a pot of sugar from the couple next door!
When lending happens on a secure platform, however, things are different. You can ensure your items, organize your search, and make sure your items end up in the hands of those who really need them. On top of all that, you can ensure they come back to you intact, or at least with some compensation!
We need strong communities now more than ever. With the situation dividing in the country, it’s important that our neighborhoods stay united. You can fight for the family values from the safety net of your neighbors who share them.
Online platforms can really bring organizing to the next level in more ways than one. You can easily initiate town and group meetings, campaigns, and other activities that can spread the unified voice of your neighborhood. Who knows, maybe you even manage to light a few sparks and shake your community at large.
Many people have taken to virtual neighborhoods because they’ve realized one thing: the internet is beginning to divide us. And it’s up to us as a community to use it in a way that connects us.
The problem with search algorithms today is that they’re too perfect. They know exactly what we want, need and are interested in, and that’s the internet they give us. This means that the internet you use is vastly different than the internet your neighbor uses. It turns out that algorithms are enclosing us in a bubble of our own, and we completely lose sight of what people around us want need and are interested in.
But the internet isn’t a problem. It’s the way we choose to use it! The problems arise when the little time during the day when we’re relaxing and browsing the web, we are doing it in a way that disconnects us. But having a platform that localizes what we want, need and are interested in and puts in in the context of the community is quite a different story. This way, you can still have algorithms cater to your interests, and see who shares them nearby, are there any workshops related to it etc. This greatly improves not just coming across your interests on the web, but actually pursuing them with people close by!
Now You Know the Benefits of a Virtual Neighborhood
Now that you’re aware of these 8 benefits of a virtual neighborhood, you’re hopefully convinced to give it a try. It’s a great choice for someone who wants to stay informed but doesn’t really want to go through every neighbor’s Facebook feed in order to do so. Connecting your community can also help organize your life in more ways than one, whether you want to push for change, borrow a stir-fryer or ask someone to keep an eye on your cat. And if you’re not convinced by the practicality this offers to your neighborly life, you might be if you crave connection. Localizing your internet usage can do wonders for connecting with those close by, and you don’t even have to leave the house.