Graciousness Survey: Singaporeans are confident of emerging stronger from COVID-19 pandemic

December 31, 2020

● Majority of respondents believe that residents will support each other and Singapore will emerge stronger from the crisis.

● State of online graciousness revealed that the most common ungracious online behaviour is making inappropriate jokes. However, most users are reluctant to call out unkind online comments and confront them.

● Overall satisfaction of neighbourliness remained high, but awareness and participation in community initiatives remained low.

● The overall state of graciousness and kindness has remained stable on a year-on-year basis.

Singaporeans acknowledge the support for one another amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic and believe that Singapore will emerge as a stronger and more united nation.

This is according to the latest Graciousness Survey commissioned by the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM). First conducted in 2008, the Graciousness Survey has provided behavioural insights and indicators on graciousness and kindness in Singapore, guiding SKM’s focus, strategies, and plans in the coming year. For this year’s Graciousness Survey, a new segment was added to survey the state of graciousness on social media, as well as garner the general perception of Singapore’s resilience and solidarity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study polled a demographically representative sample of 2,067 respondents via face-to-face interviews and online surveys over two waves – from 14 August to 17 September 2019 and from 17 February to 17 March 2020.

Singaporeans show solidarity during uncertain times

Conducted during the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, new questions were added to gather insights on Singapore’s response towards the pandemic. Majority of the respondents believe that residents will support one another and Singapore will emerge stronger from the crisis. This is eventually reflective of the ground-up efforts that have emerged from this pandemic over the last six months, where Singaporeans have banded together to help others who have been affected by the virus.

As Singapore gradually moves towards Phase 3 (Safe Nation) of A Safe Singapore, SKM has also devised a series of online posters to advise locals on how to adapt to the new normal. Named “Then How?” these online posters show that kindness can still prevail with just a few simple adjustments to our lifestyles in different circumstances. Organisations and members of the public are encouraged to download and print them for their use where they find it applicable.

Online graciousness to be improved

In this year’s new addition, respondents were asked to provide insights on social media etiquette. Many consider making insensitive or inappropriate jokes the most ungracious behaviour online; followed by shaming others, using inappropriate language, and spreading misinformation. Most practiced passive behaviours such as not adding inappropriate comments, but majority will not consciously call out or push back against ungracious behaviours online.

Commenting on this, General Secretary of SKM, Dr William Wan said, “I am glad that there is more awareness about online graciousness, but I do hope more will step up to call out these undesirable online behaviours. We do not have to go into a heated argument with the perpetrator, but we can always report the offending post and let the administrators or authorities handle it appropriately.”

State of neighbourliness remained stable, with space for improvement

The overall satisfaction of neighbourliness remained high, with more consideration placed towards reducing noise levels. However, awareness of and participation in community initiatives remained low, with 75% of residents indicating being unaware of any community initiatives or organised events that helped to improve neighbourliness in their respective estates.

SKM is working with various partners to encourage neighbourly bonding through activations and events. HoodChampions, an initiative under SKM, brings neighbours together through games and events with activations in the near future under the Vibrant Hawker Center Programme. Bonding over family-friendly games, SKM hopes to create more activities for neighbours to forge everlasting friendships.

Be Greater: Making Kindness our Legacy

Singapore Kindness Movement has also recently launched a new “Be Greater” video, reminding Singaporeans to treat others with kindness, and live a legacy of greatness that will last for generations to come. Reinforcing the Be Greater message, this video emphasises the importance of kindness in character as the measure of greatness. Titled “The Big Day”, the heartfelt video shows that small and simple acts of kindness can create a lasting impact on loved ones, society and serve to inspire future generations to be kind and gracious.

“2020 has presented Singaporeans with a new set of challenges, but I am encouraged by our response towards combating the virus. We showed resilience and unity in the face of adversity, while maintaining a good level of graciousness in Singapore. As we continue to adapt to these new challenges, I am hopeful that Singaporeans will continue to be considerate and be the shining beacons of kindness for future generations to come.”

For more information about the Graciousness Survey 2020, please refer to the fact sheet.

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