Over the Backyard Fence: Connecting to Your Neighbours

NeighboursDo you still talk to your neighbour over the backyard fence or when getting out of your car after work?


Then you are like the majority of neighbours.  A recent study by Pew Internet, called “Neighbours Online,” discovered just that.  Most neighbours haven’t made the transition to connecting on the social networks like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.  Forty-six percent of adults talked to face-to-face with their neighbours about community issues.  Only twenty-two percent signed up to receive alerts about local news.

In fact, only nine percent of us have exchanged e-mails with our neighbours.  Less than five percent of internet users joined an online group that focused on their community issues.  Although, as expected, those under 50 are more likely to get involved with such a group than those over 50.

Overall, connecting the old-fashioned way, belly-to-belly, is the main way that people stay informed:

  • 46% talked face-to-face with neighoburs about community issues
  • 21% discussed community issues over the telephone
  • 11% read a blog dealing wih community issues
  • 9% exchanged e-mails with neighbours about community issues and 5% say they belong to a community e-mail listserv
  • 4% communicated with neighbours by text messaging on cell phones
  • 4% joined a social network site group connected to community issues
  • 2% followed neighbours using Twitter

(source: Http:pewinternet.org/reports/2010/neighbours-online.aspx)