For many, the thought of Zoom quizzes, dancing alone in the kitchen during online parties or sharing birthday dinners with relatives via a screen sends a shiver of PTSD down their spine.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the world shut down and social souls missing their mates were forced to go cyber to find fun and connection, an entirely new generation of entertainment was born.
And it was more than just the odd game of bingo. There were virtual raves and dance parties, online happy hours with home delivered cocktails, remote potluck dinner parties, speed dating events, and even weddings.
It wasn’t the same. Most people had already spent a lot of the day on video calls and turning the laptop on again was unappealing.
But in a new world where they were robbed of social connection in every other way, it seemed a crucial lifeline.
However, researchers from Flinders University and the University of South Australia have discovered that while it might have seemed better than nothing, online socialising actually had no real impact on social connection or loneliness.
“We know in-person events such as festivals can bring about feelings of inclusion and create a sense…
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