The latest social networking site on the block is ‘Nextdoor’. Nextdoor.com was announced on the 26th of October, and claims to be an intimate ‘neighbourhood-only’ networking site that lets people within a community to stay in touch with each other.
The idea is to connect the members of a community online so that neighbours are available when there is a medical, social or security emergency. It seems like a good idea especially if children, aged or ailing people are staying alone, and if they depend on their community members for support and help. Moreover, the idea is also to get to know neighbours within your area through Nextdoor, so that you can socialize with them and probably invite each other home.
Many people would not use this social networking site simply because most people do not want to socialize with neighbours. In most urban communities, people live for years without getting to know each others’ neighbours and that probably is quite advantageous too. One would not want neighbours to know what one is up to, and where one is going or who one is with on that particular night. It seems like an ideal networking site for the disabled, ailing and lonely children who are left home alone by their caregivers for a couple of days or so.
Nextdoor.com claims to be really private and secure, and it allows people into a ‘neighborhood community’ only if a person verifies their address. Nextdoor is already available in 175 neighbourhoods across 26 states of the U.S.A. In communities which value privacy, anonymity and a policy of non-intrusion, Nextdoor.com will not work. This is especially true of bigger cities and even in affluent smaller communities. Nextdoor.com may work real well in societies where neighbours try to socialize with each other, and that act is not seen as an attempt to intrude.
It might seem like a great idea to depend on your neighbours for medical, security and safety related emergencies, but one could always dial 911 or seek the help of local authorities in case of emergencies. Moreover, it is not necessary that everyone who lives in a community has to be good. People who have encountered stalkers and child abusers know that such people usually lurk among ‘friendly neighbors’. You could also go ahead and take a look at Facebook Timeline, which is a privacy nightmare. Twitter is the antithesis to ‘friendly social networks’, as it is more like going to a bar and listening to strangers chat, without really intruding upon anyone’s privacy. It reached 100 million active users recently.