By Bob Poliquin, Managing Editor ~
For seniors, Facebook can be much more than the family photo album or a way to stay in touch with distant friends. Facebook can provide social groups for communities and for specific social interests or activities. For example, Indian Land, SC, is a popular site in the Lancaster County Panhandle for all things happening here in IL. And other sites like MCRD Parris Island Recruit Families let me keep track of my nephew while he was in Marine Corps Boot Camp. Other groups like Camp Canaan kept my wife and me informed of our granddaughter’s adventures as she spent her first week away at overnight camp.
Some groups are open, like the Marine Corps group, and others are closed, like Camp Canaan. You can follow open groups but must request to join closed groups. Closed groups have specific purposes such as community news and events, or they may focus on a specific interest like the American Eagle Foundation Nest Support site. The “administrators” of closed groups approve members and monitor posts. An administrator can also delete posts as well as remove members temporarily or permanently for inappropriate posts. In essence, whoever creates the closed group or functions as an administrator of a closed group makes and enforces the rules.
Nextdoor is a little different. According Nextdoor.com, “Nextdoor is the private social network for you, your neighbors, and your community. It’s the easiest way for you and your neighbors to talk online and make all of your lives better in the real world.”
Nextdoor says neighborhoods use the site to
- Quickly get the word out about a break-in
- Organize a Neighborhood Watch Group
- Track down a trustworthy babysitter
- Find out who does the best paint job in town
- Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog
- Find a new home for an outgrown bike
- Finally call that nice man down the street by his first name
Nextdoor’s stated mission is to provide a trusted platform where neighbors work together to build stronger, safer, happier communities, all over the world.
Chances are your community already has a Facebook page and a Nextdoor site. If so, they are easy to join; however, you may have to answer a few questions in order to verify details about you and your address. Nextdoor asks for intrusive information (like your age and birthday) that you don’t need to give to be a part of the group. Feel free to provide only the information you are comfortable providing.
If your community doesn’t have a Facebook page and a Nextdoor site, start them. Both can be great resources for social activities and professional services in your area.