Malaysia is home to the world’s most bored young people, global MTV study finds

MalaysiaYoung people in Malaysia are the most bored youths in the world, according to a global study of 12-24 year-olds by lifestyle channel MTV, suggesting there is a big opportunity for brands to provide a solution.

Out of a study of 26 countries, young Malaysians reported the highest levels of ennui.

Fully 83 per cent of Malaysians say they are bored, the highest in the world, followed by youths in the UK and Brazil (both 79 per cent). Over seven in 10 young Malaysians are bored on a boredom spectrum of daily to several times a week.

Young Singaporeans are also among the most bored in the world, with 78 per cent saying they experience high levels of boredom.

Indonesia, by comparison, is home to some of the world’s least bored (53 per cent) young people.

The Asia Pacific countries featured in the study were China, Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia.

Pretty much everyone asked (97 per cent) in the survey of 15,000 people claimed to be affected by boredom at some point; two-thirds on a weekly basis, a quarter every day.

The study suggested that although youngters have almost constant access to the internet through connected devices, a glut of choice may actually be fuelling boredom as much as it alleviates it.

Forty per cent of those surveyed said browsing the web was one of the most boring activities they do, more boring than school (39 per cent) and work (33 per cent).

Nine out of 10 respondents said that humour was a good way to beat boredom, followed by creativity (85 per cent), curiosity (81 per cent) and passion (73 per cent). Most (95 per cent) said they are least bored when with friends.

However, the top boredom-busting remedy, according to the MTV study, is media and entertainment, including social media, music, films, and watching YouTube clips.

Young people dislike boredom more than feeling anxious (58 per cent), having acne (55 per cent), or missing out (54 per cent). However, they prefer to be bored than being broke, failing or being embarrassed, the study found.

Kerry Taylor, the head of MTV internationally, said the results were a surprise “given this generation’s access to technology and a seemingly limitless range of content, we thought boredom might barely exist for youth.”

“Understanding our audience is critical to our business, and insights like these reinforce the importance of cross-platform initiatives that unleash our audience’s creativity and inspire them by tapping into what they’re passionate about,” said Taylor.

The research was conducted from September 2014 and January 2015 across 26 markets involving 15,330 respondents. The survey was fielded via an online panel, and also via a quantitative survey with face to face interviews in a number of cities including, in Asia, Kuala Lumpur.


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