A recent sociological study entitled “Less in Common” reveals how Americans interactions with their neighbors is becoming less and less.
Americans spend significantly less time with their neighbors. In the 1970s, nearly 30 percent of Americans frequently spent time with neighbors, and only 20 percent had no interactions with them. Today, those proportions are reversed. (available at: http://cityobservatory.org/less-in-common/)
This trend has always been pushed by technology. Things as basic as air-conditions keep people walled off from each other inside their own homes. With telephones we can speak to those far away (whom we already know) as easily as those nearby (whom we often don’t). The internet and its devices has only made this easier, cheaper and more common.
It also has to do with us spending our pleasure time (and sometimes our work time) increasing alone. The study notes that, “The biggest portion of our leisure time is spent watching television…” Some people are sitting so long watching Netflix and other services that offer full seasons of televisions shows that health authorities have issued warnings about pulmonaryembolisms — blood clots that start in the extremities then travel to and lodge in the lungs — caused by sitting for extended periods with limited movement (a danger usually associated with cramped conditions on very long flights) — for people binge-watching shows.
While inside, on our phone, computer or tv, when is their time for the love of neighbor that we are so often reminded to show? (Matt. 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Rom. 13:8-10; Gal. 5:14; Jas. 2:8)