Thursday, April 27, 2023

NextDoor Goes…Sideways?


Oh…NextDoor. You could’ve been so great. When I first heard about the concept years ago, I tried to create a NextDoor group just for the quadroplex community where I live. I couldn’t get anyone interested. It’s probably just as well. I’m sure it wouldn’t have turned out the way I imagined it would. 

Why am I so sure? Well, all you have to do is look at how our local NextDoor groups are functioning to get an idea as to how it has evolved. When I finally broke down and joined the NextDoor group for my area, I wrote about NextDoor’s growing reputation as a place where (largely) white people went to lodge complaints.

When Neighbors Start Talking, Village Green/Town², May 26, 2019

Sadly, there seems to be some sort of unwritten code that makes white people in groups think it is a good idea to share posts like, “There’s a suspicious male walking down the road,” when they see black and brown people. Not only is this a sign of deeply engrained racial prejudice (that they’d probably swear up and down that they don’t have) it makes life extremely dangerous for black and brown people.

Right now in my particular group there is an ongoing thread entitled, “Oh, how things have changed…and not for the better.” Yeah, there’s a bit of the “get off my lawn” attitude on NextDoor, too, in case you hadn’t noticed already.

Yesterday, though, I spotted something new to me. Something that completely creeped me out.

Hello. If there's a woman on here, who was at the Hobbits Glen Golf Course driving range today, and remembers a man commenting on your swing tempo, please message me.

This immediately brough to mind a comment frequently made on the Best of NextDoor account on Twitter:


Dear men, 

A woman at the golf course is not there waiting for you to make unsolicited comments about her golf swing. It will not be the highlight of her day. Additionally, it will not put her in the mood to respond to a public shoutout on NextDoor. Really.


NextDoor was not intended to be a reincarnation of Craigslist’s Missed Connections. If you did not have a substantial conversation and did not come away with an enthusiastically provided telephone number then what makes you think it’s okay to creep around NextDoor looking for “the one that got away?”

I suppose there is a possible world in which this is completely innocent and the original poster does not realize how creepy this looks. In any case, I hope that someone who knows him will take him aside quietly and tell him what he needs to know.

And I sincerely hope that our Mystery Woman does not honor this message with a response. 

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