Survey shows 60% of Americans plan virtual holiday celebrations this year

Because COVID-19 is keeping millions of family members apart — and because we’ve all spent the last seven months on Zoom anyway — virtual gatherings will be popular this holiday season. 

Sixty percent of the 2,000 Americans polled in a new survey said they’ll take part in virtual holiday “gatherings” with friends and family — and 70% say they’re going to do so because they’re virtual.

The non-scientific poll, commissioned by home tech security company Asurion Home+, revealed that 68% plan to be more social than in holidays past, even if they can’t be there in person.

The survey revealed that the average online holiday gathering will last nearly two hours and include 11 people crowding ’round the camera.

Forty-seven percent said they expect that the ease of virtually connecting will bring people who they’ve lost touch with out of the woodwork. 56% say they’re still planning to continue their normal family traditions, but 76% say they plan to cook or bake along with family or friends while they’re digitally connected.

Thirty-seven percent say they’ll take a “seat” at three or more virtual Thanksgiving dinners; more than half say they’ll take part in three or more Christmas Day celebrations, too. 

But there’s also a digital divide: 45% say there will have family members who will be unable to join in on the fun this season. 37% say it’s because those folks don’t have the tech knowledge to do so; 33% say they don’t have Internet access, and 33% will be shut out because they don’t own the right devices to access virtual meetings. 

For those people, however, there might be something special under their tree: 36% of those polled planned to gift those disconnected people with the tech that will make it possible for them to join in.