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COVID-19 UK: Social Life During The ‘Lockdown’

Using the CitizenMe platform, we went out to our COVID-19 community, which is an open-data research project designed to enable the world's citizens to share real-time opinions and data about COVID-19 with the institutions fighting the Pandemic.

Sample distribution: 1000 UK app-based citizens, Male (30%) / Female (70%), 18-34y.o. (55%) / 35+y.o. (45%) 


Key results:

The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t discriminated; it has impacted all layers of society economically, politically, socially, behaviourally, cognitively, morally and emotionally. In this update, let’s look at how UK citizens have been socialising during lockdown.

How we are staying connected

Overall, since the lockdown began, 1 in 2 have said they have been in touch with their family more than usual, with no significant difference between those living alone and those sharing their home with family or just other house sharers:

Whilst on average 38% of those interviewed said they have been in touch with friends more than usual since the lockdown, unsurprisingly, those living alone (48%) have been the ones stating that they have connected with friends more.

Those who live alone

57% of those living alone are keeping well during lockdown: 23% saying that they are enjoying some ‘me time’; 10% are fine through plenty of online socialising; and another 24% are good but starting to miss the face-to-face meet ups.

Though most of those living alone are coping well with the lockdown, approximately 2 in 5 say they're feeling alone or extremely isolated (39%). Indeed, whilst half of these individuals have been keeping busy (20%), the other half feel that they don’t have much to do - which can become a cause for concern as their situation could further deteriorate as the lockdown continues with no end in sight.

Home atmosphere

47% of those sharing their home with other house sharers, or with loved ones/family, say the lockdown has had a positive impact on the atmosphere at home, with 22% enjoying the extra time spent together, 13% saying it has been fun so far, and 12% becoming emotionally closer.

Social Media

The top three social media platforms used to keep in touch with family and friends are WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. Unsurprisingly, Instagram has a higher usage when keeping in touch with friends, driven mainly by the  18-34 year old age group.

Ways to speak with family and friend

The Internet is ‘the knight in shining armour’ during these trying times, as Internet text messaging and video calling are the top two communication options for the majority of respondents. 

For more traditional options, like text messages and calls via network providers, these have registered a uniform increase overall (43% and 41% respectively), with very little variation between different age groups.

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