Saturday, 15 May 2021

Doorstep chats boom in pandemic after Boris Johnson banned indoor catch ups

Doorsteps have become the number one spot for big chats and even engagements, new research reveals.

Our most intimate conversations from introducing a newborn baby to family members to gossiping with neighbours, the front door is reportedly the new place-to-be during the pandemic.

With lockdown restrictions banning back garden catch ups and a cosy cuppa in the kitchen, the hub for socialising has shifted dramatically.

The study found nearly half have had more conversations at their front door since the pandemic began, averaging three chin wags a week.

And more than four in ten have discussed more in depth and personal topics than ever before on the doorstep, including their health and how they are feeling.

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For 43% of 2,000 adults, a natter at the door is the new ‘popping round for a cuppa’.

A third have also spoken to their neighbours more since the start of the pandemic, with 32% feeling there’s been more opportunity while 23% now have something in common to talk about.

But it’s not just important conversations taking place on doorsteps, as nearly one in 20 have either got engaged, or witnessed an engagement take place at the door over the past year.

And the same number have met a new member of the family at the entrance.

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A spokesperson from Eurocell Home, which commissioned the research, said: “Since the pandemic began, the front door has become an unexpected, but welcome spot for many of life’s moments.

“It’s no longer somewhere you enter and exit your home, but now somewhere you can catch up with those you care about – and even make new friends and build new relationships.

“The research has certainly shown the change in behaviours during this time and the importance of doorstep moments between family, friends and neighbours.”

The study also found handing over birthday presents and exchanging Christmas gifts have been common occurrences on doorsteps, as well as clapping for the NHS and delivering food to neighbours or relatives.

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It also emerged neighbours, delivery people and the postman were most likely to stop for a chat, with the average conversation lasting approximately six minutes.

One in six have gossiped about other neighbours, while a quarter have spoken about activities such as walks in the local area.

The most popular topics of conversation have been lockdown itself, the weather and the news.

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