New Rising Fields of Online Activities

COVID-19 has marked a shift in the way we conduct routine tasks of our public and private lives as more and more aspects of our daily lives are moving online. Internet consumption has increased by over 50% since the outbreak of novel coronavirus as about a third of the world’s population are stuck at home. The pandemic has affected how we travel, study, play, shop and worship. While all other businesses around the world are facing a significant recession, the digital industry is thriving and becoming an inherent part of our lives.

COVID-19 is proving to be a practical manifestation of the idiom, “Necessity is the mother of all inventions” as people are exploring new ways to bring c and joy in their lives. Here are some of the most fascinating and innovative latest trends that are catalyzed by COVID-19.

1. Virtual Weddings are Booming

A duo from India, Preet Singh and Neet Kaur also getting married on a live video call (via Twitter)

The real delight of a wedding comes from the presence of your loved ones. Statistical data shows the remarkable increase in online weddings as social gatherings are prohibited almost everywhere in the world. Many couples are live-streaming their weddings on video calling platforms like Skype and Zoom to involve their friends and families in the celebration. Online wedding platforms like WebWed have witnessed a conspicuous increase in the demand for virtual weddings and live streaming parties since the outbreak of COVID-19 and trend is forecasted to increase in coming years.

I Do’ In Lockdown: Delhi-Mumbai Couple’s Virtual Wedding On Zoom Call

Similarly, people are sharing their moments of online Weddings on Twitter. It is believed that the trend of virtual Weddings will continue even after this pandemic is over as they are not only economical but all the family members and friends can involve in the wedding celebrations while sitting comfortably at home in front of a computer. 

2. Virtual Dinner Parties is the New Smart

The ban on social gatherings is one of the most disconcerting outcomes of COVID-19. It essentially means that you cannot share a meal with your friends and family. However, people are exploring new avenues of social gathering with digital tools to share cheerful moments with their loved ones. The trend of virtual dinners as an alternative way of celebration and spending time with your loved ones is increasing all over the world. You can dress nice and share meals with participants using video conferencing tools like FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype and Zoom all while sitting at home.

3. Cloud Clubbing is Ushering in a New Era 

Cloud clubbing party by Zouk in Singapore

Almost every entertainment venue has been shut down to prevent gatherings, a nightmare for clubbers. But innovative DJs and musicians are offering online performances and cloud clubbing, to bring energy and liveliness in peoples’ lives. On February 8, the Shanghai based night club TAXX Bar held a “Cloud Disco Dancing” session on TikTok which attracted almost 71,000 viewers and the club gained $53,000 as reward money. In Singapore, the famous nightclub Zouk, also organised one and it got almost 200,000 views for the three-hour event. Similarly, New York based nightclub “The Dance Cartel” has been organizing “Social Distance” parties three times a week. Cloud Clubbing is ushering an era where even Corona cannot block venues of entertainment.

Social dis-dance: clubbing goes online as virus shuts nightspots

4. Virtual Church Services is the Future of Religions

Peterborough Cathedral live streaming of Sunday service

Global lockdown due to novel coronavirus has pushed the majority of religious places to shut down. From churches to synagogues, and mosques, all religions are facing the ramifications of this pandemic. However, religious leaders are organizing virtual services for followers to keep practicing their spiritual prayers while sitting at home. Many churches in the US and UK have cancelled their schedules and have resorted to the digital world to keep in touch with their followers.

Ministers of Fuheis Pentecostal Church in Jordan conducting services using Zoom

From holy cities of Jerusalem to Vatican City and from America to England, religious leaders are regularly holding online prayer sessions to follow government lockdown directives.

People of Denmark sent selfies for a live streamed Easter service via Getty Images

Apart from religious leaders, people are also inventing interesting ways to keep practising their faith as more and more people from all religions are adapting to the changes in conducting their holy prayers i.e., going virtual.

Similarly, for the first time in centuries, the holy prayers in St Peter Square were not attended by people and Pope Francis gave virtual Easter prayers where normally tens of thousands of people are present to give their tributes.

5. Virtual Fitness is Thriving

Likewise, the fitness industry is also shifting to the digital world as people are turning to home workouts to continue their workout routines. Virtual fitness giants like Peloton and Mirror have reported conspicuous rises in online members. Similarly, brands like Daily Burn, Aaptiv, and TA Online Studio have witnessed a significant increase in demand and engagement over the past several days. Also, engagement with non-equipment workout programmes has increased by almost 50% in the US. Many gyms are organising online sessions to enable people to workout from home. Likewise, many fitness influencers are offering virtual workout sessions for free or reduced-cost all over the world.

As per official figures, Peloton app has observed a five-fold increase of downloads compared to March while its shares are up by 9.2% in March, showing a visible boom in virtual fitness.

It would not be wrong to say that COVID-19 has upended every aspect of our social life but innovation is the core of every human necessity. People’s trust in technology has increased and we are witnessing some major shift of many aspects of our lives to the digital world, be it how we worship, eat, get entertainment, engage or communicate.