By Zoya Gervis // SWNS
The average American has made six new friends as a result of virtual gatherings attended during quarantine, according to new research.
A poll of 2,000 Americans found that 83% of those who have made a new friend virtually are excited to meet up with them in real life and grow their friendship.
In fact, to qualify as a new “friend” made in quarantine, 61% say they had to first make tentative plans to hang out in person when it is safe to do so.
The survey conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Evite aimed to discover how Americans’ relationships have evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic, and uncovered that Americans in quarantine are not only making new friends, but also reconnecting with an average of six people they had lost touch with in the past.
Seven in 10 have recently connected with people they haven’t talked to in over a year. Forty-four percent are reconnecting with friends from high school while a further 36% are reconnecting with buds from childhood.
The survey found that 53% agree they are missing face-to-face interactions with their loved ones the most.
Forty-four percent of those polled miss celebrating important life milestones with friends and family and 74% went on to say they rely on having scheduled check-ins with friends and loved ones as a way to stay positive.
Eighty-four percent also say they find it important for friends and loved ones to check in on each other at least once during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to those surveyed, a quick text or phone call with a caring tone to check if one needs anything will suffice, and 70% say they will remember those who checked in with them when life returns to normal.
Zaria Zinn, celebration expert at Evite, stated: “Our relationships with each other are so powerful right now, even if we can't be physically together. It's great to see people checking in and reconnecting. During this time apart, a little goes a long way toward brightening someone’s day, whether it's having a scheduled video chat, celebrating milestones with a virtual party, or just sending a sweet card.”
Although Americans miss connecting in person, 48% of those surveyed say they feel comfortable attending virtual social gatherings, and another 41% say they are gathering online because they find friendship important right now.
Another part of life Americans are missing? Date night. Twenty-nine percent of Americans are getting their fill of social interaction by finding ways to date while physically apart. Single Americans are going on an average of five romantic dates during the quarantine.
Over half (53%) claim their standards on dating apps are changing with positive results, and 52% are excited to take their virtual romance to a real life, romantic setting once stay-at-home orders are lifted.
Zinn added: “People will come out of quarantine with new friends – and maybe even a potential romantic partner – because we’re spending more time getting to know each other virtually. We’re eager to connect with loved ones face to face again, and I think we’ll find people prioritizing companionship and connection more than ever before when we’re on the other side of this.”
TOP 5 THINGS AMERICANS MISS MOST ABOUT LIFE PRE-COVID-19
- Face-to-face interactions 54%
- Celebrating big life milestones with friends and family 44%
- Hugging others 39%
- Having date nights 36%
- Going to a local bar with friends 33%
TOP 5 REASONS AMERICANS ATTEND VIRTUAL GATHERINGS
- Feels comfortable 48%
- Stay in touch with friends and family 44%
- I find prioritizing friendships to be very important these days 40%
- Boost social connections 39%
- Can avoid putting makeup on 31%