If these trends are true, they paint a picture of individual households living more insular and increasingly disconnected lives. However, according to a new study from electric car campaign, Go Ultra Low, changes may occur in future neighbourhoods that bring everybody's worlds closer together.
So it turns out we're never too old for a bit of sex, drugs and rock n roll, and furthermore it can actually do us the world of good. That's according to Professor Wlodzislaw Duch, who heads up the Neurocognitive Laboratory in the Center of Modern Interdisciplinary Technologies, and the Department of Informatics (both at Nicolaus Copernicus University).
Above all else, encouraging everyday interactions between different generations is critical. This is what most of us grandparents, parents, uncles and aunties, son and daughters and grandchildren have been doing for years without giving it a second thought.
'Most visitors never get out here to see this,' says our bike tour leader Ben Maddocks, 'but it really is one of the city's hidden gems. We're only about four miles from the French Quarter, and you can also take the streetcar that drops you right outside the entrance.'
Localism hands power to people. Decades of decisions being taken at a central level and then imposed on communities have been turned on their heads in recent years and people are now reaping the benefits.
Another general election slides by with barely a murmur about environmental issues despite growing evidence that we are placing increasing strains on the earth's capacity to provide the resources desired by modern lifestyles.
It seems all too easy and convenient for so many national politicians, senior civil servants and the media to dismiss local government as at best an irrelevance and often as a source of waste and blockage to growth and progress. This is wrong.
The humble corner shop may not be much to look at, but it's at the centre of local social networks - usually for good, sometimes for ill. Reinventing the corner shop should be a process of building on those networks and adding new ones to them that support people who are investing their lives in the locality.