Never mind its temperate 28°C weather, low unemployment rate and high per-capita GDP: Singapore is the most emotionless society in the world, according to a new Gallup poll, beating the traditionally po-faced Georgia, Lithuania and Russia in a survey of more than 150 nations.
Asking respondents questions such as “Did you feel well-rested yesterday?” “Were you treated with respect all day yesterday?” and “Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?” the survey found that Singaporeans were the least likely to reveal experiencing any emotions at all.
Just 36 percent of Singaporeans reported feeling positive or negative emotions on a daily basis, while 60 percent of Filipinos recorded regularly feeling both — the highest response rate of any country worldwide.
“If you measure Singapore by the traditional indicators, they look like one of the best-run countries in the world,” Gallup’s Jon Clifton was quoted as saying in a Bloomberg report on the survey. “But if you look at everything that makes life worth living, they’re not doing so well.”
The poll’s findings — released on Wednesday — soon went viral on the Internet, where they became the butt of many jokes, not least among Singaporeans themselves.
“Singapore ranked most emotionless country in the world — not sure how to feel about that,” a number of Singapore-based tweets said.
“That [poll] is a lie,” one reader commented on the online news portal Today. “I use many emoticons to express how satisfied I am.”
Singapore’s 5.2 million residents work the longest hours in the world, according to the International Labour Organization. However, only 2 percent of the country’s work force describe themselves as engaged by their jobs, according to the Bloomberg report, despite the global average being 11 percent.
“Every culture expresses everything differently,” said Adrianna Tan, a 27-year-old information technology consultant. “[The] European love of siesta, or quality of life, is seen in Asian eyes to be laziness.
In the Philippines — which ranked as the world’s most emotional society, followed by El Salvador and Bahrain — analysts were quick to point out that being emotional does not necessarily equate with being happy.
One reporter at GMA News said that the nation ranked 103rd out of 155 countries in this year’s World Happiness Report — and that its 95 million inhabitants are said to be the most depressed in all of Southeast Asia.