Taking a stroll around your neighborhood, shopping at the local grocery store, or checking your mail is inevitably going to get you interacting with people around you. Community, according to Merriam-Webster, means, and I quote, “1) a unified body of individuals, 1a) the people with common interests living in a particular area, broadly the area itself, 1b) a group of people with common characteristics or interest living together within a larger society, 1c) a body of persons of common and exceptionally professional interests scattered, through a larger society 1d) a body of persons or nations having a shared history or common social, economic and political interests, 1e) a group linked by a standard policy 1f) an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (such as a species) in a shared location, 1g) commonwealth 2 a) a social state or condition, 2a) joint ownership or participation, 2c) common character: likeness, 2d) social activity: fellowship, 3) society at large: interests in the community. Those living in a condo complex, gated community, or neighborhood may all have different ways of interacting and connecting daily.
There is a difference in how and when people connect depending on what type of town they live in and the type of home, such as whether it is a townhouse, condo, apartment, or single-family home. Your address is more than a street with a number and building on it; it is your home and a place where lasting friendships can be made. Those that live in a condo/apartment are much closer in proximity than other types of dwellings like townhouses or single-family. Those living in multi-dwelling units either complain that they see their neighbors too much or hardly know them at all.
Three things vital to people that purchase this type of space are their safety, convenience, and amenities. HOA (Home Owner Associations) that manage multi-dwelling buildings are set up to ensure that the property is safe and maintained and provides amenities for the greater good of their specific community. For example, HOAs and Management associations may have a community FB page or a private website for those who are part of their community. Some even have apps on their phone to facilitate more streamlined communication with the management office. Such interactions may include but are not limited to notification of mail/packages to be picked up, CAM (Common Area Maintenance) charges, a directory of the neighbors, and a listing of the next board meeting and social events to consider attending.
Since the pandemic, it has been more apparent that people crave the need to meet others, become friends, and serve as a resource to understand the community. More technology companies have been jumping on the bandwagon to fill this void with websites, apps, and communication systems. Many realtors and management companies say it is essential that we keep people connected in the community; thus, installing digital signage, reverse 911, apps, websites, and access control are the intelligent way to keep it growing.
No matter where you live, no one will ever dislike you for being polite or showing too much respect. We don’t want to wear out our welcome, bother are neighbors or ever make them uncomfortable. Ensuring a well-rounded, safe, fun, and exciting community takes more than just some bylaws. First, many will implement technology to control access to buildings, install cameras to monitor common areas, utilize digital signage and keep everyone safe around the clock without being intrusive. Unfortunately, some properties and specific buildings may not be a place that wants to get to know each other.
Some communication is what I call the My driveways are on fire; will you help my neighborhoods? If that ever happened hypothetically and you asked for help, your neighbor may say something like; I can’t as I have to take Megan to the band, Cory to karate, and Joey to Scouts; call 911, and they will come and help you, I’m sure. Remember to message me on FB, and let me know you’re ok, toddles. You may laugh at this, but it is a truthful situation in that everyone pretends to be busy, wrapped up in their own lives, and has no time to help you, even in distress.
Remember, whether you utilize technology or not, communication is required to make an acquaintance, turn them into friends and even build trust so they can be your best friend. Also, note that no one wants to be tied down to a person via technology or constant in-person contact, be respectful and keep your communication equal. In other words, if you text, one should not have more say than the other, and the same goes for in-person interactions.