I do not know my neighbors

Many say at most a hello, while one feels already gladly burdened by the observation or the noise

Germans are not very interested in their neighbors, at least not if they are left alone. According to a non-representative survey conducted by immobilienscout24.Com and www.Myneighborhood.Under 16.279 participants, one fifth do not know their neighbors or say at most a brief hello. More is not spoken. Only half of them stop and chat for a while.

It is not possible to choose one’s neighbors, it is said. In fact, it is usually so that it comes here to forced communities, which one can not really influence. Although many preliminary decisions about the social and ethnic background take place about the residential locations, many people do not say anything. Here a balkanization and homogenization has already occurred for a long time, which is mostly regulated by the price. In small towns and in the countryside, the differences may not be so great, but people may live closer to each other, while the different social classes in their neighborhoods in large cities will often hardly meet each other. The next street around the corner can be farther away than the next big city.

The retreat into the dwellings, in germany and the other northern countries anyway alone climatically more strongly than in warmer countries, is certainly favoured by the media, which demand the cocooning. And ubiquitous communication via cell phones and the internet may strengthen social connections, but not necessarily close spatial contacts. Mobile communication serves here rather as a shielding, one is physically here, but actually somewhere else and with others. The homogeneity of groups is also required, certainly more in cities than in the countryside and villages, where social segregation is less due to the lack of mass.

The aloofness is naturally greater in large cities (over one million inhabitants) than in the countryside or in small towns. In a large city, people tend to live in apartment buildings where they move around more often; urban culture also includes a certain anonymity. And people do not regularly run into each other. If the survey has some generalizable results, the anonymity between neighbors is not very high even in the big cities. While 24% of the respondents do not know their neighbors, 16% of the respondents in the countryside do. 29 percent of small-town residents say they have a good relationship with their neighbors, compared with only 19 percent in the big city.

Most of them are at least abstractly already and were helping their neighbors, for example, accepting parcels for them, giving flowers or fetching the mail, every third person was even taking care of the children or the pet. Women do it more often than men. Admittedly, neighbors often get closer by arguing. According to the survey, the alarm of the others is the most likely to disturb, to which the architecture can contribute a lot, then curiosity comes already. In the big city, only 12 percent feel that they are being watched too closely by their neighbors; in the countryside and in small towns, the figure is 20 percent. People also complain about unfriendliness, some people are literally pissed off by their neighbors. They also feel annoyed by children.

Allegedly, one should hardly believe it, the tolerance threshold rises with increasing age. Most of the people would first talk to their neighbors in case of problems to find a solution. Only after several attempts, which could not quite correspond to reality, one would complain to the landlord or call the police. Or you just move right away and hope that your new neighbors will be more contractual, if you are not a litigious person and like many residents of single houses the courts deal with the neighbor dispute.

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