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Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Is happiness more important than money?
20 November 2012
KHOO BEE KHIM firstname.lastname@example.org
SINGAPORE - Today's 18- to 35-year-olds choose happiness over wealth, according to Singapore's Generation Asia findings.
The online survey of 1,500 people is Asia's most comprehensive psychographic study in terms of the number of respondents, geographical coverage and insights into 16 key topics: Beauty, communication, education, entertainment, fashion, food, health, kids, love, luxury, media, money, sports, technology, travel and vehicles.
One of the key findings was that 75.4 per cent feel that happiness is more important than making money.
Mr Hari Ramanathan, Regional Strategy Director of marketing communications company Y&R, said: "Having grown up in a prosperous and rapidly progressing Singapore, this is a generation that's often accused of being soft and spoilt. Are we surprised at this finding because we've always been led to believe that this is a very materialistic generation?"
He had posed the question to a panel of opinion leaders at the unveiling of the findings.
One of the panel members, Executive Editor of TODAY Phin Wong, 34, said: "The bigger question is, do they know what makes them happy? Do they know what direction happiness lies? Do they know what it takes to be happy versus a list of things they don't like?"
Ms Eugenie Yeo, 33, Regional Brand Marketing Manager of Discovery Networks Asia Pacific and one half of Riot! Records, believed that making money is not their priority as they have an easy life. "At 30, they might still be living with their parents. Financial gain isn't their priority," she said.
"It is about balance. In today's society, without money, you'd be a very unhappy person," said Ms Pearlyn Koh aka DJ Foxxxy, 24. "It is about earning enough and spending within your means."
Mr Melvin Yuan, 35, founder of social business consultancy Omnifluence, who felt that society has a part to play in inculcating this value in today's youth, said: "Just this morning, someone made a comment that he doesn't see the spark in the eyes of his kids after they started school."
"To come back to Phin's point, do these youths know what happiness is? Or is it something that society is teaching them?" he added.
Mr Nicholas Seguy, 32, co-founder of French sneaker brand Feiyue, did not agree with the findings. "I don't see that as the real behaviour of 18- to 35-year-olds in Singapore. I think they are still very driven by materialism, if not more than the generation before them."
Conducted for Y&R by partner agency VML Qais, Singapore is the fourth market to unveil its findings, following Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines.
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