What’s Up With Nextdoor?

Whats Up With Nextdoor?

Nextdoor is a strange app. Given the sheer breadth of content one can find there, it can be difficult to define exactly what role the service fills. Depending on what bubble the user finds themself in, it could be a platform for sharing memes, warning about traffic cameras or finding pet-sitters. 

The app is broadly split into a few different factions which overlap or argue with one another as their interests diverge and conflict. The majority group is the genuine, well-meaning set of people who post tidbits about birds to watch for, potholes to avoid or restaurants to patronize. Following them are the group of teenagers looking for babysitting work and odd jobs.

Both of these groups are docile and benevolent, trying either to help out their neighbors or make a little money. Where controversy begins, however, is with a third faction: those who seem to take pleasure in being cantankerous, rude and overall unpleasant. These individuals range from the garden-variety comment section troll to the malevolent anti-teen agitator, stirring up trouble on an otherwise peaceful platform. 

The most interesting aspect of the conflicts found on Nextdoor is that everyone’s name and neighborhood of residence are available in their bio. People posting hateful or inflammatory remarks on the app are not doing it because they can hide behind an anonymous profile; they are perfectly fine with attaching their names to their posts. Lengthy political rants can become a lot more entertaining when you know the person who posted them lives somewhere in your area. 

While it may be true that Arlington boasts an unusually high number of these bad actors, it is important to take in all of the quirks that make the platform worth using. It is easy to find vintage or otherwise unique objects for sale or even free with a quick perusal of the app, but its most entertaining use may be following the twists of a neighborhood tale as it evolves. 

A simple post about the well-being of a recently adopted feral cat could turn into a chain of people mentioning their experiences with the same cat, or a request for a chiropractor recommendation could spark a debate about whether they actually work. Though one might have to search, it is possible to find long-winded stories of paranormal activity and familial betrayal suitable for the most dramatic screenwriter. 

Even if it is not always the most functional platform, Nextdoor reflects an actual community: there are people who are rude, well-meaning, naive, self-righteous or just plain bizarre. If the app was perfectly cordial and utilitarian, it would not truly represent Arlington. Sometimes it is worth sifting through the garbage to find the true gems of Nextdoor. 

 

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About the Contributor
Miles Mann, Head Editor
Miles Mann is a senior heading into his third year with The Sentry and first as Head Editor. When not in the classroom, Miles can be found doing homework, lifting or napping. Music is something he can’t live without, but he’s not picky about genres. Miles is beyond excited for another great year on staff!

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