Houses don’t make neighborhoods—neighbors make neighborhoods. And with the recent technology of community-forward apps like Nextdoor, we now have a virtual neighborhood bulletin board to connect with those around us, whether to announce, request, or share information about events, concerns, recommendations, items for sale, etc. It’s akin to having a neighborhood group Facebook page.

I’ve found that Nextdoor posts can be a source of great entertainment. Among my favorite comments in my neighborhood include prolific suggestions regarding a mock “McDaniel Avenue Bunker Decorating Contest” in response to the city’s installation of traffic-calming curb bumpouts along the street. All in good fun, the lighthearted suggestions exhibit plenty of creativity.

While Nextdoor has made communication easier (and reconnected many a lost pet with a frantic owner), I have been surprised (in a bad way) at the level of vitriol some comments express. An innocent remark can solicit rude and antagonistic responses. Often a simple request for a recommendation will result in scathing attacks to someone’s professional reputation. 

“Being a good neighbor is all about embracing common courtesy.”

 

Bless your hearts, people. Don’t you realize that you are talking to your neighbors? Plus, everyone in the neighborhood is in essence listening in to your conversation, not to mention that they know where you live. So, unlike a bad Yelp or Trip Advisor review, you have no anonymity when you post. Wisdom says be careful of words spoken, which may later be regretted.

Being a good neighbor is all about embracing common courtesy. A good neighbor is friendly and will offer a smile and cheerful greeting when you meet in the hallway or on the street. Trustworthiness is another valuable trait for a good neighbor, ranking right up there with being quiet and respectful.

Seems pretty straightforward—to attain “good neighbor” status and to avoid the “bad neighbor” moniker, you need only remember and follow the Golden Rule. Treat your neighbors how you would like to be treated. Be nice, keep your yard clean—and think before you post on your neighborhood app or Facebook page.

No discussion of neighborhoods would be complete without some wisdom from Mr. Rogers. “There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.”

I’m here if you need me. Until then, y’all behave.