The art of making small talk with strangers is fast disappearing as more and more people prefer to communicate through social networking site Facebook, reveals a new survey.
The survey carried out by organic tea brand Clipper revealed that two-thirds of Britons regularly talk to people on Facebook who they would never see in person.
A staggering 70 per cent of the 1,000 people polled said they thought the art of conversation was dying because of texting, email and social media.
A third would strike up a conversation with a stranger only if they were lost and needed directions, and just over half said they see the same people every day on the way to work, at lunch or walking the dog.
But four out of 10 said it would be "weird" to say hello, while others said they were shy or "could not think of anything to say", so ignored them.
The problem is particularly bad among those aged under 30, with 58 per cent saying they avoid talking to people they see often, but do not really know.
However, their parents’ generation appeared friendlier with 63 per cent of people aged between 45 and 59 happy to strike up a conversation with people they see regularly.
Pensioners were friendlier still with 74 per cent happy to talk to people they see on a daily basis.
"There is a great nostalgia about manners and a sense there was some golden age, but what people really crave is that we all treat each other with respect," the Daily Express quoted etiquette expert and former ‘That’s Life!’ presenter Simon Fanshawe as saying.