Cave Creek stays connected in the digital age

Jonathan Geare, Creeker Editor

Cave Creek has always been connected, whether it be through neighborhood block parties or supporting local farmer’s markets, but as the world transitions into the digital age, and especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, neighbors are finding new ways to make sure they stay connected- online, that is.
From Facebook to Nextdoor, Cave Creek has a rich online community giving creekers the opportunity to discuss everything from local business deals to cute pet photos. Topics that would once be saved for meetings or real-life bulletin boards are now easily accessible from a smartphone.
But instead of doing any of that, many of the users would rather complain. Complain about their neighbors, complain about the homeowners association, complain about each and every little thing they see on their security cameras.
Occasionally, this criticism in a public setting can strain the community, but sometimes it can be constructive, especially when it comes to criticizing organizations meant to help the community.
One user, by the name of Whitney Hickman, was facing a situation in which she was unable to park her commercial vehicle in her own driveway. For Hickman, there were no other options for cost-conscious parking for the vehicle she needs to do her job.
While some users were quick to comment their disdain for homeowner’s associations in general, one user, by the name of Judith Gerdin, wanted to take action. “Check into the state law… Get them to back down using the state law. Call one of the news help lines.”
It’s advice and discourse like this that causes real change in the community, and what makes these community bulletin boards in Nextdoor and Facebook so important.
Beyond the forums, services like nextdoor give opportunities for neighbors to spend money smarter. Both Nextdoor and Facebook have a marketplace for selling old furniture, hardware, and electronics safely.
Community marketplaces are safer than public marketplace apps due to the user base being a closely-knit community. It’s also a great place to find some cheap deals, since sellers are often looking to give a “hometown discount”. Sellers looking to make serious money are more likely to use a larger public marketplace.
Additionally, Nextdoor provides a platform for small businesses in Cave Creek. Nextdoor has a “Local Deals” section, on which local business owners can post advertisements and promotions for free. Often these ads involve discounts on goods and services, helping both the businesses and the community.
Despite being online, a priority for neighbors on these websites is to get together in person.
Both Facebook and Nextdoor have dedicated pages for events, in which users can create listings for everything from blood drives to book signings, complete with a date, time, and address.
Users can declare themselves as “interested” or “going” for events, as well as save community events to their own personal calendars.