The average adult hasn’t spoken to their neighbour for three weeks – but millions enjoy ‘passive aggressive’ posts on community social media pages.
A study of 2,000 UK adults found 56 percent of those in local online groups report sniping and backbiting, with 34 percent describing it as pure entertainment.
And 47 percent have shared information with their friends and family about certain posts, because they were so outrageous or amusing.
Nearly a third (31 percent) of adults are friends with a neighbour on Facebook, and 17 percent follow at least one on Instagram.
The study, commissioned by mobile network giffgaff to examine the level of community spirit throughout the UK, also found one in 20 even go as far as saying they can’t remember the last time they spoke to their next door neighbour face-to-face.
However, when wanting to communicate about peeves such as dogs barking loudly, inappropriate parking and rubbish, 18 percent find it easier or prefer to voice their thoughts online, rather than approach a neighbour to discuss in person.
Communications expert Amira Mansour, commenting on the mobile network’s research, said: “It can be difficult to make time for our neighbours.
“The research found many don’t have close relationships with people in their local area, and this can lead to feelings of isolation.
“However, ironically, these people shouldn’t feel alone, as it seems there are millions in the same boat and there are ways that we can improve our communication with those in our community.”
While 10 percent miss the community friendliness they felt during the UK’s lockdowns, one in five believe community spirit is alive and well where they live and 14 percent would like to be better friends with their neighbours.
Just over one in 10 would like to get to know people living nearby more, but aren’t sure how to go about doing it.
However, 43 percent have made the effort to chat to a neighbour – about a different local resident’s behaviour.
Some of the most common annoyances adults have with their neighbours include inappropriate parking (24 percent), and loud music (22 percent).
Another 21 percent get wound up by dogs barking loudly, and 16 percent get the hump when houses close by have overly loud house parties.
A tenth get annoyed by people’s houses having a messy exterior, like rubbish lying around, according to the [OnePoll.com] data.
Ash Schofield, CEO at giffgaff added: “It feels like there’s a real appetite to connect with neighbours and our local communities, even if those moments can sometimes lead to passive aggressive conversations.
“At giffgaff, we’re dedicated to making connectivity a force for good. When we’re connecting well with our neighbours we create closer, more meaningful communities that can do amazing things.”