Maybe you’ve seen them in the movies. Maybe you’ve had one of your own. We all know what it looks like—the neighbor who won’t mind their own business. But nowadays, nosy neighbors are not only more difficult to spot but also more challenging to define.
After conducting a survey of more than 1,000 Americans, SafeWise determined that technology is part of the problem. A surprising number of survey participants admitted using technology to spy, eavesdrop, or get involved in neighborhood conflicts. A majority of those same people, however, also said that technology has made them less nosy.
According to our survey, approximately 41% of Americans use the neighborhood-focused social media website Nextdoor.com or something similar. If you’ve ever used the website (or app) before, you’ll quickly see the “effect” we speak of.
While many use it as a way to advertise a garage sale or a missing pet, others use it as a soapbox to air complaints about the neighbors or raise awareness of suspicious activity happening in the area. Those who have security cameras often post photos of crimes in progress, which can lead to a heightened sense of fear for other neighbors who are just tuning in.
Our survey asked the 41% of Americans who use Nextdoor or something similar about the effect that these websites or apps have had. Here are some of our most interesting findings:
Among Americans who use social media websites or apps like Nextdoor or Neighbors, the following applies:
- Over one in six say it has made them feel more paranoid about neighborhood activity.
- For more than a quarter of them, it has made them more nosy.
- One in five have gotten involved in a neighborhood conflict due to something they saw on the website/app.
- Almost three in five say it has made them feel safer.