Home designs have changed over the years, and some can greatly contribute to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Consider this: Years ago, homes were built with a garage, or space for a garage, in the backyard. The front of the house proudly faced the street, and the homes of other neighbors. The porch was located on the front of the house, where people often lounged. That made it easy to hang out with neighbors and generally watch the world go by.
Things have changed. Some modern home designs place the garage on the front of the house, with an entrance to the house through the garage. With a home such as this, one need never see the neighbors: Just open the garage with an electronic opener, drive on in and enter the house virtually undetected. And that front porch? It’s been moved to the rear of the house and is now referred to as a deck. Add to that a seven-foot privacy fence, and you won’t be seeing the neighbors there, either!
People, we are cutting ourselves off from society! Remember going to the movies? Remember sitting with other people, relating to the same flick? Not if you have your own home theater system and viewing room. I know people who never go to the movies anymore since they got their own home theatre systems. “We like Netflix better.”
And, it’s not that these same “loners” don’t seek out human communication, mind you. Because late at night, after a long day with work, school, home movies, etc., some of these folks will hop on the internet and chat with someone on a social network site – someone who may live thousands of miles away and whom they’ve never met. And guess what? The neighbors they don’t know are often doing the same thing at the same time!
Remember this stuff when you go shopping for a home. Here’s a little list of things that will help you stay connected with the human race and live a happier, more fulfilling life.
- Make sure there’s a porch on the front of the house.
- The garage should be in the rear of the house.
- A cyclone-style fence, or at least a lower fence, allows you to chat with the neighbors.
- If you’re going to include a home theater, make sure there’s enough room to invite some guests!
As that old country singer Ernest Tubb would say, “Be better to your neighbors and you’ll have better neighbors . . . doggone ya!”
If you can think of any other design features that would make it easier for you to get to know your neighbors, list them below!