Its official: We are talking less to each

other even when at home

A startling report issued by the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) confirms that what many of us already suspected – we are speaking less to each other even when at home. The Report paints a picture of an increasingly fractured society in which people are more and more unwilling to join social sports or clubs or to volunteer and there is an increased tendency not to socialise with friends or colleagues. We spend more time glued to screens whether they be mobile phone, computer or TV.

The Report confirms that there has been a huge decrease in volunteerism of every description and that people are less inclined to talk to each other, engage in activities in their neighbourhood or even help their own children.

Many people are engaged in a virtual world rather than actually engaging with colleagues, friends and neighbours. The Report by the Office of National Statistics confirms that people are engaging more in social media but this has led to individuals and families leading lives of deepening isolation. The report drew on a number of European, UK Government and Independent surveys carried out between 2012 and 2018. It says that the chances of us stopping and talking to our neighbours has fallen by 4% and that more than one third of people do not routinely stop and chat with neighbours or those living in the neighbourhood.

Similarly the number of people who would ask a favour or borrow something from a neighbour has fallen. Over one third of people surveyed felt that they did not feel that they “belong in their neighbourhood”. The Report also found that membership of voluntary professional political and recreational organisations had fallen from 53% in 2015 to 48% in 2018. Of even more concern is the findings in the Report that bonds between children and their parents are fraying. In 2018 the number of adult children who live away from their parents and who say they help their parents with jobs such as shopping, writing letters, giving them lifts or financial advice was at 36% down from 42% in 2012.

The Report also states that the connection between parents and children was also in decline as only 59% of parents in 2018 offered assistance to their children with childcare or cooking compared to 63% some six years earlier.

The Report also outlines a significant decline among people in trust of government but there has been an increase in people’s feeling of safety when out walking in public areas.

The Report also finds that the use of social networks increased from 45% in 2011 to 68% in 2018.

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This document is for information purposes only and does not purport to represent legal advice.  
© O’Rourke Reid 2020