Invisibly

My Covid Valentine

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Valentine’s Day is this weekend and we wanted to know just how much COVID-19 restrictions are impacting people’s plans on this most romantic of holidays. We found that while most people say that their plans haven’t been affected by the pandemic, they are still more likely to lay low and do nothing for Valentine’s Day this year.

Highlights

  1. We used Realtime Research to ask nearly 1,000 Americans about how COVID-19 has impacted their Valentine’s Day plans.
  2. The results show that a majority of people have not had their plans impacted by COVID-19.
  3. They also show that most people in all age groups don’t plan on really celebrating the holiday.
  4. Finally, in those who are planning to go out with their significant other there are interesting differences based on age.

Results

The majority of Americans across all age groups say that their plans have not been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Some 54% of all respondents are proceeding as usual, regardless of what “usual” happens to be. Some 53% of 18-24 year-olds fall into this category with 59% of 25-44 year-olds, 61% of 45-54 year-olds, and a whopping 72% of 55+. There are some differences by way of gender with 64% of males, 55% of females, and 49% of gender non-conforming Americans saying they aren’t impacted.

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Some 18% said that they would celebrate through “creative” ways, while 29% expressed some indecision about how exactly they planned on celebrating.

When it comes to whether they will celebrate any of these related holidays, the results were overwhelmingly no. Some 52% of Americans said they would not celebrate at all when asked about what their plans would be. Just 13% said they would go out with their partner or with a date, 18% said they would celebrate with friends or family, 11% are planning a night in with their SO, and just 6% plan to see their date/partner via Zoom or Facetime.

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When it comes to which of the three related holidays Americans plan to celebrate, Valentine’s Day came in highest at 37% of celebrators. Surprisingly, Singles Awareness Day came second with 18% and Galentine’s Day came in third with just 5%.


The Process

From January 28th to February 2nd, 2021, we surveyed 959 people using Invisibly’s Realtime Research tracker, to gauge public opinion on the impact of COVID-19 on Valentine’s Day plans. We also collected demographic data on age and gender, which has revealed some interesting insights into how different generations view the pandemic restrictions as told through the lens of what they plan to do on Valentine’s Day.

We Asked

  1. Has COVID-19 impacted your Valentine’s Day/Galentine’s Day/Singles Awareness Day plans this year?
  2. How do you plan to celebrate?
  3. What are you celebrating this year?

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Discussion

It is safe to say that Valentine’s Day and it’s satellite holidays are not going to be the same this year as in years past. Though that is hardly a surprise. Perhaps the most interesting finding in this data study is just how much COVID-19 restrictions have inadvertently impacted the way we celebrate. The study found that more than half (54%) of Americans didn’t change their plans but 52% said they weren’t planning on celebrating. Which means they had no intention of celebrating regardless of COVID-19. 

It is unclear whether the COVID impact has become so ingrained in people as to create a “new normal” where they simply assume they wouldn’t have Valentine’s Day plans or if Valentine’s Day has simply waned as a holiday that gets celebrated by large groups of Americans. 

Among the most interesting findings was the age breakdown among Americans who planned on having what could be considered the “most normal” version of Valentine’s Day (ie. going out with a significant other or on a date). Generation Xers (those between 45-54) were the most likely to go out for Valentine’s Day, 23 percentage points higher than the next age cohort, Millennials. Baby Boomers and Gen Z Americans were roughly the same at 13% and 11% respectively. While this may not be a direct correlation to their views on pandemic restrictions, it points to an interesting story that merits further study.

The majority of Americans across all age groups say that their plans have not been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Some 54% of all respondents are proceeding as usual, regardless of what “usual” happens to be. Some 53% of 18-24 year-olds fall into this category with 59% of 25-44 year-olds, 61% of 45-54 year-olds, and a whopping 72% of 55+. There are some differences by way of gender with 64% of males, 55% of females, and 49% of gender non-conforming Americans saying they aren’t impacted

Invisibly Realtime Research surveys differ from traditional online surveys in that the questions are shown to the user on web pages in place of an ad (Figure 1). Unlike Google Surveys, which block access to content until the questions are answered, Realtime Research surveys are optional, thus ensuring that participants are responding voluntarily.

 
Acknowledgements
Scott Weinberg for his help with the Covid Canvas project.



Dr. Don Vaughn, Ph.D.

Dr. Don Vaughn is a neuroscientist, futurist, and communicator. As Head of Product at Invisibly, he is envisioning a better future by enabling people to take control of their personal data. He leverages his understanding of the brain to predict how people will use—and be used by—technology. Since graduating from Stanford, over 1 million people have viewed his TEDx talk. He has been featured on ABC, ESPN, Bloomberg and more.