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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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billcdaly August 13 2014 at 11:13 AM

Tough to know your neighbors with your head always down looking at your phone!

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2 replies
Christopher billcdaly August 13 2014 at 7:37 PM

or when your neighbors head is up their butt

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mociambz billcdaly August 13 2014 at 9:50 PM

Milllenials are into agenda 21 where the only contact they have with their neighbors is when they rat them out to the government

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b4score August 13 2014 at 7:35 AM

People are so busy working to support our a/H goverment who is giving our hard earned money away to every ********* country that shws up.

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4 replies
Linda August 13 2014 at 7:03 AM

I am in my mid 50s and when I was a kid growing up in Jersey I knew who every neighbor on our street was and we all knew each other as well. Not anymore. Nobody talks to their neighbors, nobody is interested in anyone but themselves these days and it is very sad.

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9 replies
noughtman August 13 2014 at 8:23 AM

Live-and-let-live. My neighbors mind their own business, as do I. We keep our properties neat, and respect each other's rights and privacy. When you're forced to work all day with people you don't even like, some time to yourself is welcome.

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4 replies
Hi August 13 2014 at 7:57 AM

Houses are built to close together and people need space.,People talk and if you do not want them in or knowing your business you do not bother with them, because there is always a busy body who is waiting for the littlest piece of gossip so they can spread it and feel important.

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5 replies
rudniski136 August 13 2014 at 12:26 PM

I'm going to stick my neck out here and say that I think the cause is air conditioning, electronic devices and the lack of front porches. Back in the 40's and 50', before people had AC in their living areas and/or especially the bedrooms, they would walk or sit out on the front porches at night in the summer until it cooled off enough to be able to sleep. All the adults would be visiting and all the kids would be running around playing. After AC became common people could not wait to get home and get inside. Porches became a thing of the past when people put decks in the back yards. Poof went the neighborhood. Electronic devices make it easy to communicate with friends and family and eliminated the need for neighbors.

I think another factor is relevant. One thing I notice, as I get older, is the lack of good manners and respect for others in the younger people who live near me. I do not want to be involved with them and their children follow their example.

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2 replies
sdowns1470 rudniski136 August 13 2014 at 8:23 PM

I agree with your statement, but I was raised to respect people and I am 26. A/C is a life saver down here in Texas and trust me it gets pretty darn hot here in the summer and I try to stay inside as much as I can. My mom takes her walk at 6am everyday before it gets too hot to be outside.

I try to go over to my neighbor's house as much as I can because his son is battling lung cancer. Before his son had cancer I always told him to call us if he needed anything. I always see how he and his wife are doing and see what they are up to. I don't neglect my neighbor because what if he had an emergency or I had to pack up and fly off to Michigan for my grandfather's funeral. We watch one another's house when one of us goes out of town.

We are civil to one another. He always says thanks for coming over and see you later when I leave. We enjoy each other's company. He has two cats and a dog and they are all females. The older cat could care less about anybody but him.

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JohnBoydStrother rudniski136 August 13 2014 at 10:01 PM

No it is because everyone is scared to death of what type of people their next door neighbors could really be. people are just plain scared and also racist as well.

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jpfmtka August 13 2014 at 7:53 AM

Not true in my neighborhood. We all know one another and are not only friendly, we help each other, volunteer for community service days, hold regular social events, coach our children's swim team, water plants, walk pets for neighbors on vacation, cook for families that have experienced an unexpected emergency.... I could go on and on! Oh, and we are a suburb of one of the largest capitol cities in America.

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5 replies
Ralph Seda August 13 2014 at 10:46 AM

People move so frequently that it's hard to know who your neighbors are!!..Here today!!..Gone tomorrow!!..Not too many years back, people would live their entire lives at one address, so you got to know everyone on your block, good or bad!!...

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prairiecal August 13 2014 at 6:36 AM

The less one has to do with humanoids the better. Make your own world and be careful who you let in. The last thing one needs is boring neighbors popping up at their door and inviting themselves in for coffee.

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6 replies
Susan August 13 2014 at 10:44 AM

Some neighbors you just don't want to know. I lived for 14 years in a 'historic' neighborhood, where the house next door was a meer 5 feet from our bedroom window. Listening to that drugged up couple fight at 3 AM was disgusting. Because of their pot and cigarette smoking outdoors, we were forced to keep our windows closed so, no fresh air. They had a dog that they allowed to live outdoors, without a yard, on a deck and then when the poor dog pooped on the decking, they screamed and mistreated him. I can't even begin to say how many cats they allowed to run free and get sick and die. So, no, I don't want to know these types of people.

On the other side was a guy who had tree people come in and cut down OUR trees so he could aim his massive satellite dish more easily.

People don't know what it is to be respectful of their neighbors and to be quiet.

We finally were able to move and now, I really don't want to know any neighbors.

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1 reply
greenliks Susan August 13 2014 at 3:24 PM

What a whiner, or weiner...

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2 replies
bknab101 greenliks August 13 2014 at 8:44 PM

greenliks- what an azzhole you are! That guy has a right to not want to live next to someone again,, he can join other social groups and go home to peace and quiet,, sounds like he deserves it... you're probably a typical jealous liberal type that is stuck in your situation because you don't understand the meaning of "working your way up in life" to live in a position of your own choosing,, you're probably stuck in your mom's basement waiting for her to die so you can move upstairs to her room,...until then, you just piss on other people's success at changing their own situation.....do your mom a favor a DIE FIRST so she can rent that basement out and have some extra income to live on before she passes.

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JohnBoydStrother greenliks August 13 2014 at 10:07 PM

yes they cry about things but never took the bull b the horns. If you cut my trees, you better be ready for me suing you in court. If you going to yell all the time, you better be ready for my 10,000 watt stereo.

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