Let’s face it – as generous as technology has been in stitching blurred patches of productivity in our work lives, it’s simultaneously managed to mess things up back in our homes and neighborhoods. We have suddenly gotten so involved with our laptops, tablets, 2-in-1s, and smartphones, that our community interactions are almost limited to the social media alone. Social media made brought us very near to others virtually but in reality, drove us too far away.
For the longest time, we thought the internet, the social media, and other allied technologies were acting in unison toward bringing all of us together. And so many of us still think the same. But that’s as far from the truth as Eminem is from the place he grew up in.
Social media is bringing unknown people so near together virtually while driving away known people far apart. Where are those bubbly kids always eager on helping their neighborhoods? What happened to the neighborhood activities meant to bring the community closer together? Why are we so hesitant to ask help from our neighbors?
A can of worms opens up when we try to analyze just how much the social media has been responsible for the deterioration in our neighborhoods. The Aspen Institute points out in their article on social media’s divisive impact how we tend to interact only with people like us on the social media. This often culminates into our reaching out to other “like-us” tribes. While this attitude might work well for social bonding, it is vastly ineffective for social bridging.
Social bridging is the keyword we pick up from there. It is not one of those fancy academic jargon discovered inside a university laboratory. Social bridging is the real-life phenomenon of cutting through geographic, socioeconomic, and racial differences to build a society that is more cooperative in the real sense of the term.
The truth about the social media is both bitter and real. We have seen and read enough in the past few weeks and months to infer that primetime social media functions on algorithm engineered to turn people away from uncomfortable truths. And that is where social media has failed us (and the mission of social bridging) in a monumental way.
Where America Went Wrong
Long before the social media, there used to be community organizations where people would physically participate and bond with others. These community organizations have not dived into the ocean. They are still doing their bit. But there’s very few of them left, and the number of Americans participating in them could historically be the fewest. And social bridging still remains a distant, futuristic dream – if there’s a common future at all.
At this juncture, we can either crib for the rest of our lives at the state in which we will leave the world for the people to come next. Or, we can pick over the bones of this ruckus and make something worthwhile out of it.
Social Bridging with Onata Neighborhoods
People remember us best when we do something for them – serve them in a way that’s truly memorable. At Onata, we decided to reuse technology and remold society into a complex web of cooperation, sharing, and value-exchange by means of real physical interactions while inculcating the basic civility of helping one another.
This drive to reconnecting the dots within our community paved the way for Onata Neighborhood Services. Onata Neighborhood Services is a simple way to give, receive, and exchange services within the neighborhood, using Onata’s web and mobile applications.
Yes, it’s exactly what you think it is. You can use our iOS or Android app to add your address, draw your neighborhood, and set up what services you want to offer. The dynamic coding means you can set up new services and gigs too.
At this stage, a monetary exchange for neighborhood services is totally optional. You can do it for price or pride. Here are a few samples of services you can seek through Onata Neighborhood Services.
- Ask for help with cooking
- Request your neighbor to pick up your kid on their way back from office
- Ask for a neighbor’s help in taking your pet to the vet
- You can set up a neighborhood Playdate for your child
…all while using the Onata app. The Onata Neighborhood Services option is exclusively available for those who sign up for the Onata Insider Program. You get free $5 Onata Credits and the chance to race for Onata Stock Options, too!