Coronavirus lockdown forces people to find 'more inventive' things to do online, poll claims

Virutal 'pub crawls' have become common

Friday 10 April 2020 19:25

Live meditation sessions, music concerts and visits to the zoo are among the activities now taking place online as people adapt to so-called "virtual living".

A poll of 2,000 adults found many people have gone beyond the conference calls, fitness sessions and online pub quizzes that have become commonplace under the coronavirus lockdown.

Being under lockdown has forced people to find "more inventive" ways of connecting online, such as group cooking sessions, art classes, wine tasting and virtual "pub crawls".

More than one-fifth of respondents said they were exercising more than ever in their time at home, with one in 10 having taken part in a live class online.

Charles Davies, managing director at Hyperoptic, the UK’s largest full fibre provider, said: “Living virtually is a big change for everyone of all ages, but it’s great to see Brits are maintaining a work life balance, continuing to take part in hobbies, trying new things and enjoying their social lives.

The survey also found more than half of those polled felt they had adapted "very well" to the conditions imposed by lockdown and 44 per cent had used the internet for shared experiences since the coronavirus crisis began.

One-third were pleased they could still enjoy the majority of their hobbies in a different way, such as going to the gym or pub quiz nights.

Of the parents polled, more than two-thirds had tried to maintain a normal school routine for their children, with many turning to the internet for help with teaching responsibilities.

One-third had used live PE lessons online to help educate their child, while four in 10 had turned to YouTube for educational content.

One-fifth had even gone on "virtual day trips", using real-time footage of places such as aquariums.

More than half of people "could not imagine" not having the internet during this time with a similar proportion saying they would be bored without connection.

A further 59 per cent said it was ‘vital’ to have a good broadband connection at this time and two in five felt they would be lonely without it.

The poll also found that as a result of the lockdown, more than one-third thought they were communicating with others more than they did before, with three in 10 more encouraged to talk rather than text.

One in eight were having calls with friends and family as often as everyday, with one-fifth using Facetime.​

Along with the changes in communicating with family and friends, one-quarter of people have adapted how they talk with colleagues while working from home.

More than half said they were sending more emails, while four in 10 had seen an increase in video conferencing and 37 per cent had experienced more group calls.

Rules of etiquette for video conferencing named by respondents were limiting background noise, talking clearly and being on time.


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