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Australian’s social behaviour has changed as a result of COVID-19

Australians are an outgoing bunch

The Aussie larrikin is a well-loved aspect of the Australian psyche, with those that possess the qualities of being fun loving, unconventional, mischievous and good hearted, often revered in society. Australians today identify with this persona being almost twice as likely to describe themselves as outgoing and social than reserved and quiet. Over half of Australians (56%) consider themselves very or somewhat outgoing and social compared to 26% who would describe themselves as very or somewhat quiet or reserved. Only 18% of Australians do not identify as either outgoing and social or reserved and quiet.

Gen Y: the most outgoing generation

Younger generations, particularly Gen Z (63%) and Gen Y (65%), are more likely to describe themselves as social and outgoing than their older counterparts, indicative of a strong extroverted nature in younger Australians (cf. 51% Gen X, 50% Baby Boomers, 46% Builders).

COVID-19 lockdowns have impacted the social fitness of Aussies

Similar to the atrophy of muscles when under used, the COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions have impacted the social stamina and fitness of Australians. While Australians are likely to describe themselves as social and outgoing, almost half (48%) strongly/somewhat agree they choose to spend more time on their own and 35% feel less confident in their ability to organise and participate in social activities as a result of COVID-19 related restrictions.

Australians are less likely to use physical touch now than before the pandemic

When greeting and interacting with one another, three in five Australians (60%) are shaking hands with others and using physical greetings such as a hug (58%) less than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost half of Australians are using other physical contact such as a high five (48%) less than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Younger generations are less likely than their older counterparts to use physical greetings such as a hug than before the COVID-19 pandemic (47% Gen Z, 52% Gen Y cf. 62% Gen X, 69% Baby Boomers, 58% Builders).