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We recently moved from an apartment complex where both of my children have lots of friends to a house in a much better area not far from the old neighborhood. My son in particular is having a bit of a challenge making new friends, and, against my wishes, regularly returns to visit with old neighbors in the apartment complex from which I moved him and my daughter out of concern for their safety. Many students from the schools my children attend and others reside on the street that we live on. My daughter quickly gravitates to other children, and has made several friends in the area, though she complains that she doesn’t have enough friends, or they do not come out and play with her frequently enough.

I and most parents, I’m certain, am concerned with my children having healthy social lives; I too, like any concerned parent, want sufficient information about my children’s friends and their parents and about my neighbors generally. I gave it serious thought and realized that Facebook is one of if not the very best platform for a solution…

A Facebook Friend-My-Neighbor app*would be a really great tool that would facilitate acquaintanceship and creation of friendships amongst neighbors who are Facebook account holders who might otherwise go for years without ever knowing each others’ names. *This could otherwise be a non-Facebook app, distinguishable from platforms like Nextdoor, which is essentially a neighborhood forum via which neighbors discuss local occurrences and/or query their neighbors about where to find the best of anything nearby that they need, and others like Apple’s Find my Friends App, via which it is possible to locate family members and already-known friends.

Facebook launched a Nearby Friends feature a few years ago that allows users to track nearby friends. Friend-My-Neighbor would be different from Nearby Friends and Facebook’s Friendshake in that it would focus on familiarizing users with their literal neighbors who they typically do not know, whether or not they are on the go…

Friend-My Neighbor would have age filters that would connect minors to their specific age group of neighbors and adults to their adult neighbors, or they would be capable of reading neighbors’ profiles to determine who shares like and ideally constructive interests…

Member profiles would include brief biographies indicating what their jobs or professions are and/or what schools they attend or have attended. They would further list hobbies and other interests, professional or other merited group affiliations, etc. and/or any other information that they’d wish to share…

Members would enter their addresses and other required information into the secured and private registration page. Addresses would be verified and updated when necessary, or when members have moved, though members could stay connected to any of their previous neighbors.

Once member addresses are verified via preferably automated electronic searches of records, members would be capable of seeing and connecting electronically and eventually in person with their selected neighbors.

Members could optionally elect to share or disclose their residential addresses and phone numbers to their neighbors, preferably the nearest, and invite select neighbors to gatherings or events that they are hosting or attending, i.e. a dinner or party, a neighborhood walk or meeting, a study group, or just to watch television and chit chat…

The noted app or feature would impactfully address a major social issue of our times, that of loneliness/boredom, which should never occur with an abundance of other human beings in the world; and in our quests for friendship and good company, we should first look to our very own neighbors…

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