Why You’re Not Friends With Your Neighbors.
'After building neighborhood social networks in more than 3,000 communities across the U.S., Nirav Tolia has learned just how many different things neighbors can accomplish. Using Nextdoor
, the site built by Tolia and his team, neighbors get burglars arrested, investigate possible water poisoning, and stop the installation of parking meters. They lend one another ladders and grills, recommend babysitters, and upload videos of locals. But the one thing they’re not looking to do is make friends.'
'“You’re not friends with your neighbors,” Tolia says. “You don’t want to be friends with your neighbors… The communication is a lot more high fidelity if the context is clean.
“With your neighbors, everyone can get fired up about the pothole, and that’s something that your Twitter followers and your friends and your business colleagues just don’t care about… On Facebook, I’m going to be posting about my birthday.”'
'Tolia might be on to something. A Pew study released last year found that neighbors comprise just 2 percent of a typical American’s Facebook friends, eclipsed by high school and college buddies (31 percent), family (20 percent) and coworkers (10 percent).
, a favorite online gathering place for small-town Americans, the community discussion boards aren’t tender or cuddly.”Mostly they’ll fill it up with stuff like interpersonal gossip,” says Topix CEO Chris Tolles. “Once you get beyond like two doors down, that person is outside of your general social interaction… People kind of know each other, but not really.”'
'This sort of targeted action happens to be an area where Facebook is weak. Observers like social software guru Clay Shirky believe goal-oriented online groups will be behind the next reinvention of social networking, particularly after social media played such a prominent role in the Occupy movement and in the Arab Spring.'