You just moved into your new New Orleans neighborhood and would love to be kept up to date on stuff happening around you. Who doesn’t? That’s what neighborhood Facebook groups are for!
I can’t speak for other cities, but neighborhood Facebook groups in New Orleans can get pretty epic. When I say epic, I mean they get silly, funny, crazy, vindictive, and then downright insane.
How Neighborhood Facebook Groups Help
Let’s start with the good stuff. Facebook groups are great for sharing neighborhood info. If there is a package thief, or you’re giving away some plants from your garden, or someone’s dog escaped – this is what the neighborhood group is for!
I’ve seen some beautiful moments in these groups. Babysitting services, helping your elderly neighbor, pet rescue, donations – all the feel-good stuff.
There are so many upsides, what can go wrong?!
How it goes wrong
Some residents of your neighborhood think this is the place to air all their grievances. Or antagonize the neighbors they don’t care for.
Other times they make up blatant lies and scare neighbors. (One group I’m in, a resident said there was a snake on the loose. The story that followed it, most people figured out it was a joke post. Not everyone though… It caused quite a ruckus.)
Another neighborhood group I’m in, we have a problem with people thinking any African-American walking by is trying to break into their house. (Racist much?)
This other page has people constantly battling about who has lived in the neighborhood longer. (Who cares? If you live there now, you’re allowed to have concerns!)
How neighborhood Facebook groups hurt
A lot of times, before people settle on a New Orleans neighborhood, they start perusing these groups to check on unreported crime and see how the neighbors act towards each other.
Team Be New Orleans can tell you that many neighborhood groups have run off more than a few potential new neighbors.
Before you holler “good riddance!” – stop and think about how you act in these groups.
Many people become “keyboard warriors” and say hateful things they would never say to someone else’s face.
THESE ARE YOUR NEIGHBORS!
You could be missing out on getting an amazing new neighbor (someone has to move into that house!) because y’all are mean to each other.
What you should STOP doing immediately:
- Stop posting hateful comments.
- Don’t post about events that don’t pertain to your area.
- Don’t start fights.
- Quit the self-promotion.
- Stop passive-aggressive posting about your neighbor.
Let’s be better
Before you get enraged and start furiously typing away on your keyboard, stop for a moment. Take a breath.
Do you really want to post a photo of your neighbor’s trash and start an online war? How about walking next door and asking them how you can help them?
Before we judge our neighbors so harshly, let’s ask ourselves, “What if they are doing their best?”
Lend me some sugar, I AM your neighbor.
Start using the groups they were intended to be utilized. Post about helping out, community services, plant clippings, local events – and, yes, tell your neighbors if you have been broken into or your car was stolen. That’s wonderful information to have!
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