Anger Grows as Americans Become Acclimated to the ‘New Normal’

Conversations reflect renewed focus on preparation and preventative actions

The author(s)

  • Menaka Gopinath President, Ipsos SMX and SIA, NA
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Americans are expressing growing feelings of anger in community and social conversations as the number of U.S. deaths continues to rise and people grow accustomed to their new realities. 

This week saw overwhelming negative sentiment reflected in community conversations, with ‘angry’ replacing ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘depressed’ in our emotional topic wheel.

how do you feel this week

Source: Ipsos SMX US Syndicated Online Community: COVID-19 Discussion Board 4/2-4/6

Similarly on social, this week saw a consistent expression of anger, with a spike in fear coinciding with the news that local officials are seemingly uneducated on the virus and UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, moving to Intensive Care due to COVID-19. Feelings of hope and happiness were related to community-based efforts to uplift each other.

emotion trended by day

Source: Synthesio, 3/30-4/5, specific mentions relevant to COVID-19/Coronavirus in U.S., English Only

Focus on Preparation and Preventative Measures

While general coronavirus conversation maintains its position as the largest topic on social, ‘preventative action’ increased its share of the conversation by 6 percentage points, while the share of conversation related to the economy and authorities saw decreases as people turned their attention to face masks and potential vaccines.

share of voice by topic

Synthesio, 3/30-4/5, specific mentions relevant to COVID-19/Coronavirus in U.S., English Only

Preparation also emerged as the dominant emotional ‘pandemic journey’ stage among members in our syndicated community this week.

disbelif

Source: Ipsos SMX US Syndicated Online Community: COVID-19 Discussion Board 4/2-4/6

Streaming Services Gain Popularity as Consumers Hunker Down

Americans are keeping themselves busy and distracted at home as more shelter in place orders are issued, turning to their streaming services to pass the time. Social mentions highlighting increased consumption show that streaming TV shows and movies not only provide an outlet to kill boredom, but also act as a distraction from the news and a way to stay connected to others.

Spending habits are also impacted by deeper negative sentiment observed in community conversations. Initial optimism for a return to ‘normalcy’ is slowly fading, while reality sets in and consumer hunker down for the long haul.

“We prepare our family for a 2 weeks of food and supplies purchase.”

“This isn't ending soon, and what the end means - will there be a semblance of life as it was again?”

Sources: 
-    Ipsos SMX US Syndicated Online Community: COVID-19 Discussion Board 4/2-4/6
-    Synthesio, 3/30-4/5, specific mentions relevant to COVID-19/Coronavirus in U.S., English Only
 
Ipsos is conducting in-depth weekly tracking around the impact of COVID-19 on U.S. consumer behaviors and emotions via our online syndicated community and broader social media conversations. Contact us today to schedule a one-on-one meeting to review the full suite of insights and to discuss how your brand or category can gain specific context around supporting consumers to best meet their needs during this time of unprecedented disruption.
 

The author(s)

  • Menaka Gopinath President, Ipsos SMX and SIA, NA

Society