Book Trailer The Noble Train

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Did the Era of Neighbors End?

I was out taking down my Christmas lights and I thought about how lonely it was in my neighborhood. I literally don't see my neighbors except for passing each other in cars. Some of them I never see. And no one socializes. Now our houses are spaced apart. This could account for some of this. And maybe you could say everyone is just really busy. But maybe there is something else.

Take my old neighborhood. Everyone got together. Everyone was friends. You might say that was a function of having young children. Maybe. But when I go back to my neighborhood which has since turned over the people who are still there say people don't socialize  like they used to. They said the new people have no interest in getting together or being social. Some of this can be explained by urban versus suburban or even conservative versus liberal. Our old neighborhood was closer to the city.

But the fact that my old neighborhood seems to be suffering from a lack of socialization like my new one tells me that the age of neighbors might have ended. Of course we all know what replaced it. The online world. We now stay inside our forts and socialize versus venturing out to see what the neighbor is doing. Some of it is two income households. Clearly. Some of it we are more insular by nature with our ear-buds and smartphones. Or maybe we are just too damned busy.

The big porches on homes are really no longer. Most new homes don't have them. In my grandfathers time people used to get dressed up to go out on their porches in the evening. Then like a grand procession people would pass by and pass the time of day. Something we no longer possess.

Books by William Hazelgrove