Our research found more than a third of us believe we're too busy to get to know our neighbours - and it's no wonder when you consider many of us are spending at least five hours surfing the net each week
(PRWEB) December 25, 2009
New research from home insurance provider SGIC has revealed that around half of SA residents rarely or never have a proper conversation with our neighbours, with around 40 per cent preferring to socialise online*.
SGIC spokesperson Emily Gatt said busy lifestyles and online social networking appeared to be taking a toll on neighbourhood relations.
According to the home insurance provider, the state of neighbourhood friendliness has gotten so rocky that almost 80 per cent of South Australians admit to not even knowing the first names of all of our neighbours.
"Our research found more than a third of us believe we're too busy to get to know our neighbours - and it's no wonder when you consider many of us are spending at least five hours surfing the net each week," Ms Gatt said.
"This Christmas, we're encouraging people to swap some of their screen time for a little face time with the neighbours."
Ms Gatt said many residents could be missing out on the benefits of connecting with their neighbours, including a sense of community spirit and having someone they trust nearby.
"With so many people planning to go away or take day trips at this time of year, it pays to have trusted neighbours to keep an eye on your house," she said.
"Our research also showed that if people did know their neighbours they would be willing to help keep each others' houses looking lived in while they're away, and this can really help deter thieves."
SGIC offers these tips for households heading away:
- Ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your house, collect mail and newspapers, and help with the rubbish bin;
- Keep your home looking lived in with open blinds and timer switches on lights;
- Never leave a message on your answering machine saying you are away;
- Don't leave tell-tale packaging for big ticket or expensive Christmas gifts in sight – tear it up and put it in the recycling bin.
- Mark your driver's licence number and state on the back of all electronic valuables;
- Keep your car keys somewhere safe - burglars will steal a car if the opportunity arises;
- Secure garages and garden sheds and remove valuables from your garden.
*Research carried out by Pure Profile, October 2009.
SGIC is a provider of Travel Insurance, Home Insurance, Motorcycle Insurance, Car Insurance and more in South Australia.