These days, many people complain that the 'community' is not what it used to be. Traditionally, neighbours would know each other's business, the pub was a central hub for the community, and the post office served as a meeting point for generations of all ages.
Today, people are more insular. The television has turned many of us into couch potatoes who never even see the light of day.
Bingo has long been an affordable way for people to pass their time. Bingo halls are ubiquitous: offering great value and cheap entertainment. Drinks are subsidised and there are often special deals for the elderly.
Online bingo sites are working hard to try and recreate that sense of social interaction. One recent method to increase the number of players is to offer free bingo alongside the regular pay-to-play games.
Online bingo doesn't offer its players the same face-to-face interaction but it does enable people to chat, make new friends, and enjoy a social online activity. You get to talk to real human beings rather than just watch the latest episode of the X Factor.
Online bingo room chat hosts are employed to persuade people to keep playing and keep taking part in the action. However, they also often make great friends with many of their regulars and strong online relationships are formed.
Forums and Facebook fan sites are another ideal online environment for bingo fans to meet, greet, and catch up on the latest gossip.
Many people can't afford to visit the pub these days. A round of drinks can cost as much as an entire evening in a bingo hall or even a day playing bingo online at your favourite site. You could buy a bottle of wine or some cans of beer, as well as an evening's worth of cards for the same price as a large glass of the house white in your local wine bar.
Mums with young children often will not have the chance to leave the house. When the baby is asleep, online bingo is a great opportunity for them to quickly escape from the 24/7 routine of baby care. If the baby does wake, the game will auto play anyway - so you don't lose your stake.
If you asked many people, they would say they never go into chat rooms but they are very happy to enjoy some chat in a bingo chat room. The perception here is different. In a bingo chat room, you are enjoying the game - the chat is a welcome bonus.
There is no doubt that as the real world continues to become a hostile and isolated place, there are many friends to be found in the world as online bingo becomes more popular than ever.