AMERICANS have met an average of 10 new people online during their time in self-isolation, according to new research.
The survey asked 2,000 Americans about their digital communication habits while they’ve been sheltering in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Results found three in 10 respondents are video calling friends and family, while 36% are texting and 34% are picking up the phone to call.
But of all modes of digital communication, 61% of respondents also shared that they prefer video calls because they’re more intimate.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Jasmin, the survey found respondents aren't only using video calls to connect with their loved ones: 44% of respondents shared they’ve webcammed with a stranger for the first time during COVID-19.
And of those surveyed who have visited a webcamming site, 45% do so for just that reason – just to meet new people.
The survey also found that 73% of respondents shared they crave emotional intimacy more than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another 67% of those surveyed shared they’ve struggled to socialize and communicate during their time in self-isolation.
Nearly three-quarters of respondents also shared they’ve felt increased feelings of loneliness and anxiety.
Video calls can get dicey, however, as respondents shared they’ve experienced their fair share of embarrassing moments.
One in five respondents shared they’ve had someone walk in the background of a video call naked.
Another 15% of those surveyed have either been caught talking to their pets or yelling at their children while on a video call.
Eleven percent of respondents have even been caught day drinking and 18% of respondents shared they’ve been caught on a video call not wearing pants.
Other ways respondents are trying to stay positive during lockdown included cleaning their homes, cooking and baking, meditating and binge-watching a TV show.
"It's not surprising that we are seeing an increase in webcamming as people search for ways to switch up the mundane and boost their mood,” said Karoly Papp, Jasmin CEO & Co-Founder. “Self-isolation has dramatically impacted our ability to be the social creatures we are meant to be. Whether quarantining alone or with a roommate, significant other or family members, many individuals are yearning for ways to connect with new people.
"It's important that people stay positive and know that there are ways to combat these negative feelings. This survey shows how mainstream webcamming is today, providing a safe and fulfilling solution."
Twenty-two percent of those surveyed said they’re also connecting with people on social media to feel less lonely.
Another two in 10 respondents said they’ve visited or watched a live streaming site to boost their moods.
“We knew the world was already struggling with feelings of loneliness and isolation pre-COVID-19. Quarantine and social distancing efforts have only exacerbated these emotions," Papp said.
"But being at home doesn’t mean you can’t put yourself out there and make new connections online. We launched Jasmin with the goal of fostering real human connections, something that has never been more important.”
TOP EMBARRASSING THINGS TO HAPPEN WHILE ON A VIDEO CALL
Talked for a while before realizing I was on mute – 31%
Forgot to mute myself and said something embarrassing – 29%
Had someone enter the room and interrupt the video call – 27%
Forgot my camera was still on when I went to the bathroom – 22%
Had someone walk in the background nude – 20%
Wasn’t wearing pants and didn’t realize everyone could see – 18%
Had someone do something embarrassing in the background – 18%
Forgot to mute myself before taking a screenshot of the call – 16%
Got caught talking to my pets – 15%
Yelled at my children without muting myself – 15%
Forgot to change the background image – 13%
Got caught day drinking – 11%
Fell asleep – 9%
TOP 20 WAYS TO COPE WITH LONELINESS DURING COVID-19
Exercise – 51%
Watch movies – 41%
Text friends/family – 36%
Call friends/family over the phone – 34%
Clean my home – 34%
Cook/bake – 34%
Meditate – 32%
Binge-watch a TV show – 31%
Video call friends/family – 30%
Have sex – 28%
Read – 28%
Learn a new skill – 28%
Reorganize my home – 25%
Masturbate – 23%
Connect with people through social media – 22%
Have an alcoholic beverage – 21%
Watch online webcamming/live streaming sites – 21%
Utilize online webcamming/live streaming sites to meet people – 18%
Attend a virtual event – 16%
Host a live streaming event – 11%
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