On-Nomi: The Japanese Trend Of Digital Drinking With Friends While Self-Isolating

People are gathering in groups on an app to have a few drinks and commiserate while COVID-19 forces them inside.


A new Japanese term has been coined to describe drinking digitally with friends while practicing social distancing. On-nomi, or “online drinking,” describes a trend that has taken off among those self-isolating across Japan.

According to a Vice article, based on a piece by Japanese news organization Asahi Shimbun, a group of fortysomething women coined the term after they began gathering in groups of 10 or more on the teleconferencing app Zoom to have a few beers and commiserate about being stuck inside because of the coronavirus.

Social distancing may be difficult and mind-numbingly monotonous, but it is also a very effective method when it comes to preventing the spread of viruses. The health practice helps “flatten the curve,” or spread out infections over time, so that they don’t spike and healthcare systems can properly deal with the virus.