How consumers are spending time during social distancing

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According to new data out from comScore while most Americans are spending more time online, either via mobile devices or desktop/laptop computers, there is a divide in what these people are doing while online.

In general, younger consumers are playing video games, online shopping and video chatting while older people are using social networks and video chatting to stay in contact with family members. Just how are people spending their time in lockdown? Television or Movies. comScore’s data shows that more than two-thirds of those aged 18 to 54 are spending the bulk of their time watching TV or movies while three-quarters of those over age 55 are watching TV or movies. Other interesting findings:

â–ª 55% of 18-34 year olds are spending time cooking, 58% of 35-54 year olds and 54% of 55+ are spending time in the kitchen
â–ª 50% of 18-34 year olds are playing video games, 41% of 35-54 year olds and 25% of those 55+ are gaming
â–ª About one-third of all age groups are doing DIY home projects, one-third are reading books and one-third are reading articles or research type content
â–ª Fewer than one-third are taking online courses

One thing consumers aren’t doing? Checking in to travel. comScore’s researchers found that overall interest in the category of travel content has waned throughout the COVID crisis. This may be primarily because people cannot travel right now, but fears about traveling to new places cannot be ruled out. Comparing the numbers on desktop from Q1 2019 to Q1 2020, overall traffic to travel sites is down by about 43% while traffic specific to car rentals and air travel are down by at least 35%. Interest in hotels is down even more (61% YoY).

The research notes that in April some metrics began to trend back up, primarily the time spent on travel sites, but what isn’t know is if the slight increase was due to more cancellations or to people planning future trips.

Meanwhile, data out from Fullscreen suggests that many Gen Zers aren’t happy with how their compatriots are acting during the pandemic. Researchers found that while most (81%) of Gen Zers they surveyed say they are following protocols and guidelines laid out by the CDC for COVID-19 most don’t think their friends are doing the same (63%). And, while most are coping by bingewatching TV and movies or reading, nearly half still say they are stressed about their health (43%) or work (41%) and many (18%) say they are feeling anxious, in general.

Most younger Americans also say they are confident they will overcome the pandemic, 75% say this is making them ‘rethink’ their priorities.

More data from Fullscreen can be found here.



Kristina Knight is a freelance writer based in Ohio, United States. She began her career in radio and television broadcasting, focusing her energies on health and business reporting. After six years in the industry, Kristina branched out on her own. Since 2001, her articles have appeared in Family Delegate, Credit Union Business, and with Threshold Media.