The Webby Trend Report November 19, 2020

Overwrite Tomorrow: Survey Results

Exclusive Research: YouGov and The Webby Awards surveyed consumers on how the pandemic has changed the way they engage with the Internet, and ignited the urge to build a better future.

Every year, The Webby Awards examines a trend or current event that is impacting the Internet and digital work, and report these findings in our annual Trend Report and Webby Talk. This year’s Trend Report, Overwrite Tomorrow, examined how the pandemic has accelerated innovation across the Internet, and our lives. The work we’ve seen communities create online—mutual aid networks, virtual events, social media series—have become a launching pad for what the future can hold.

In partnership with YouGov, and international research data and analytics group, The Webbys conducted a consumer survey of 3,000 people across the U.S., to understand how the Internet has accelerated innovation and impacted their personal connections, and relationships to education, work, entertainment, healthcare, and more. Here are key findings:

The pandemic helped people become more aware of structural changes needed in society, and want permanent changes to be implemented in some way. 

  • 92% of respondents believe the world has forever changed in some way
  • 56% admit they noticed problems in society that they previously were unaware of, and 75% desire permanent changes in society


Although they’ve dealt with growing pains, most consumers are ready for widespread changes across every aspect of their lives.

  • Education: While 32% of parents in our survey have struggled with online schooling, nearly half are ready for the education system to permanently change in some way with new options for virtual education 
  • Entertainment: With many people at home, 47% of respondents attended a virtual event as streaming services, event companies and artists find innovative, immersive ways to entertain an at-home audience
  • WorkWith remote work becoming a fixed part of life in the near future, only 18% of respondents want worklife to return to its state before the pandemic. This paves the way for employers to create permanent solutions to implement balance
  • Connections: With physical connections limited, 50% of respondents have become more active on social media, by commenting more, going live, etc. More people are open to using digital tools to date in new ways (like Hinge and Bumble leaning into video calling), and remain entertained with friends (like new online chat and gaming experiences)


With so many changes, people are more welcome to the idea of permanently augmenting what no longer works in society. 

  • The shut down forced many to stop and think about what matters, change major aspects of daily life, while addressing recently-highlighted inequalities. For many it was a wake up to take the time to learn where we could adjust ourselves to help the bigger picture
  • 75% of people surveyed want at least some things about society to permanently change. While companies like Reddit, NextDoor removed its “Forward to Police’ feature, and millions of advertisers reduced their spending on Facebook


We’re exploring this topic, supported by YouGov’s research with this year’s Trend Report and Overwrite SeriesDownload the report for the full research, insights, and interviews from industry experts: