As many of our readers know, neighbours can play an important part in our daily lives. Good neighbours can become great friends, and in some cases just like family. Some of us may well remember (during the 60’s – 70’s) our parents’ family friends and neighbours being referred to as Auntie X and Uncle Y. Yes, it was a generational thing, but in those day’s many parents considered it more respectful than using first names.
However, in today’s busy world, as we all know, technology has encroached on every aspect of our daily lives, which has resulted in too many cases of isolating people in our neighbourhoods and created a social distance among ourselves.
But things may well be reverting back to yesteryear as new research from People’s Postcode Lottery has revealed that over 50% of Brits want to build real-life relationships with their neighbours, particularly the younger generations.
The study, which surveyed over 2,000 renters and homeowners in the UK, challenges the common stereotype that young people, and those in temporary, rented accommodation, are less likely to befriend their neighbour’s and engage with them face to face.
Whilst nearly half of our respondents (44%) said that they were a part of a community social media group, 78% of young people said they prefer to build relationships with their neighbours in real life, shunning the idea that the digital generation prefers to scroll than speak.
But what’s getting neighbours talking? Going on holiday was the most likely topic to get people chatting, with 76% of people saying they’d inform their neighbours if they were going away, either digitally or in real life.
The age-old habit of popping round to borrow a cup of milk is still very much common, too, with 6 in 10 respondents saying they’d ask their neighbour to borrow bread, sugar or similar items.
When it comes to addressing any neighbour niggles, over 55’s are most likely to confront any issue they have, with over half (57%) saying they’d pick up the conversation face-to-face, over any other method of communication.
Issues include parking across driveways, putting rubbish in other neighbour’s bins, and cutting down trees.
However, in order to make friends with neighbours, people are much more likely to do so if they have shared interests.
Across the board, 31% of Brits said that if they had clear shared interests (such as noticing them carrying similar sporting equipment), this would make them more likely to stop and chat. Alongside this, one in five said they’d be more likely to stop and chat if their neighbours had a dog, and 15% said the same for children.
North West statistics reveal:
54.3% of NW always make an effort to speak to their neighbours
77.7% of NW interact more with their neighbours in real life than online
44% are part of community social media groups
47% would knock and ask face to face to borrow household groceries (sugar, milk etc).
73.5% would tell their neighbour when they are going on holiday.
18.7% of NW would talk to their neighbour more if they had a dog