When we look back on this period of social, economic and lifestyle disturbance what will be most remembered and what pushed to the realms of collective amnesia? If today’s crisis has a legacy anything like the one it is most frequently compared to the Second World War it might just be the moments of togetherness and pleasure in adversity that are remembered long after the lockdown is lifted.
Self isolation, job loss and sickness are no laughing matter, and undeniably affect some more grimly than others. Yet even with the narrowed horizons lockdown has brought, there have been highs as well as lows for all, and the gamut of human enjoyment has warped radically in a matter of weeks, perhaps forever.
We chose to dig deeper, using the Discover.ai platform to find out how consumers are enjoying themselves in these times. What follows is an attempt to make sense of how people are talking online about pleasure, treats, joy and fun over the past few weeks. The results were rich and could have populated a much longer report, but we’ve distilled our findings into a simplified schema: a way to navigate a shifting landscape of enjoyment.
We found that enjoyment can be broken down into a series of overlapping areas:
The kinds of vices we struggle to keep under control at the best of times are gaining the upper hand without the discipline of socialisation.
Unapologetic and decadent
Social distancing and all the inconvenience and misery it entails as an excuse for indulgent enjoyment and treating.
Good clean fun
A dialling up of pre existing virtuous activities: looking online, outside and to the past for inspiration and motivation for filling the time.
Wholesome on steroids
Our adaptation to limited circumstances leads us to the kind of demonstrative pleasure found in quirky vicariousness, problem solving and making the most of occasions.
Click here to read the report in full.
It’s impossible to say how this will end, and how we will be different on the other side. It’s likely that some of the cultural eccentricities we pick up now will become firmly ingrained: the necessities and proclivities of social isolation will cause behavioural change across society, while how and what we consume will be correspondingly altered. All we can positively observe is that people are still enjoying themselves and finding creative and compelling ways to do so. And that gives us hope.
They say that time flies when you are enjoying yourself after all.