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Why don't Americans know their neighbors anymore?

Why Don't We Know Our Neighbors Anymore?

A new article is revealing just how well we know our neighbors ... and it's not trending because the numbers were impressive.

A Maclean's article titled "The end of neighbours" reports half of Americans don't know the names of their neighbors.

And in Britain, about a third said they couldn't even identify their neighbors in a police lineup.

If you're from a small town, we realize this might be shocking.

An NBC commentator said, "I think it's a terrible thing because a sense of neighborhood and community is really important. But I would say it's true."

The Maclean's article cites two new books called "The Vanishing Neighbour" and "The Village Effect." It's actually something of a synopsis of their observations on this issue.

‚ÄčThe author of "The Vanishing Neighbour," Marc J. Dunkelman, is a research fellow at Brown University who says neighbors are a part of our social "middle ring," which he says requires more effort because they're not relationships we choose.

And "The Village Effect" is written by developmental psychologist Susan Pinker, who emphasizes the importance of face-to-face social networks, saying they increase your chances of getting through big life events like health issues.

Surprisingly, Maclean's points out both authors agree the Internet is not the root cause of the change.

They say cars began the lifestyle change, allowing people to separate themselves from home.

And the new neighborless lifestyle is even more pronounced for kids. With parents working more and people becoming more worried about safety, children are on a tighter leash.

You might remember back in July when a South Carolina woman was arrested for letting her 9-year-old daughter play at a park while she was at work.

And a Florida mother was arrested for letting her 7-year-old son walk about a half mile from their home to a park to play. She even mentioned in an interview with WPTV that times have indeed changed.

She said, "my own bondsman said, 'My parents would be in jail every day.'"

Fortunately, regaining that lost sense of community begins with a simple step: going next door and introducing yourself.

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