Are Societal Norms Just Misconceptions? Circles.Life Survey Reveals Older Generations’ Surprising Supportiveness, Paving the Way for a Faster, More Progressive Future

SINGAPORE, June 3, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — It’s popular belief that Singapore’s infatuation with a hyper-competitive culture breeds significant pressure to excel both academically and professionally. Apart from the influence of culture and family, there’s a rigid definition of what success looks like, and it feels like everyone is expected to conform to these norms — those who deviate risk facing social stigma and exclusion.

This misalignment between personal aspirations and societal expectations hinders those trying to forge unconventional paths. A recent survey by Circles.Life, conducted in partnership with Milieu Insights, confirms what we suspected — 1 in 3 Singaporeans felt pressured to conform, with 40% of youths aged 16-34 feeling constrained by parental expectations.

Based on the survey of over 1,500 respondents representing the nation’s population, the study also provided a more nuanced understanding of Singaporeans’ pursuit of progress and the barriers they face. Take mental health, for instance, where nearly half of individuals aged 16-34 reported struggling to balance it with work or study commitments. Additionally, more than half of youths aged 16-24 refrain from discussing mental well-being with friends or family.

It’s clear that many Singaporeans, particularly the younger generation, are open-minded and inclusive, showing a positive attitude toward society. Young adults are increasingly open to discussing mental health and sex education, with 46% of those aged 16-24 believing sex education should begin as early as primary school. They are also more willing to engage in conversations about and around sex with friends and family. Plus, a good number of Singaporeans support diversity and think it’s important for equal representation across gender, age, and occupation in the media and in mainstream education to break through long-standing stereotypes.

But here’s where it gets interesting — the study shows that the older generation (aged 40 and above) are surprisingly progressive on a number of issues. Older Singaporeans overwhelmingly believe that mental and physical illnesses should be treated equally. Moreover, 40% of Singaporeans, including older generations, believe and hope that society will become more accepting of diverse individuals in the next 10 years. The vast majority (80%) of those aged 44 and above think that success is defined by perseverance and hard work in life rather than paper qualifications.

While it may be a surprise, this finding only proves that not everyone sees eye-to-eye when it comes to societal expectations. This further underscores the need to keep these conversations alive, and to challenge false perceptions and tackle these issues together. It’s the only way we’ll progress as a society and truly reach our potential,” said Ebony Ngieng, Senior Marketing Manager,  Circles.Life.

These findings underscore a simple truth: it’s time to shift away from measuring success solely by tangible achievements or material possessions and to move beyond the burden of social stigma. To meet the evolving pursuits and values of Singaporeans, Circles.Life’s latest ‘Do Your Own Thing’ (DYOT) campaign is here to help challenge conventional norms so Singaporeans can live life on their own terms. Here are its four pillars:



Every Win Matters

Addressing the intense academic pressure faced by students
and promoting a balanced approach to success.

Don’t be Embarrassed

Challenging the stigma around natural urges and encouraging
open discussions without shame.

Many Roads to Success

This celebrates the idea that success comes in many forms,
highlighting individuals who pursue their passions, whether they
follow a conventional path or choose something unique like
becoming a hawker. It emphasises that it’s not just about the
career choices made; it’s about finding fulfilment and success in
what one loves to do.

Break The Stigma

Promoting mental health awareness and reducing the stigma
around seeking help, equating mental health to physical health.

As an innovative digital telco, Circles.Life has consistently sparked conversations across Singapore by empowering people to challenge norms and conventions, particularly through their groundbreaking initiatives. They made waves as the pioneer Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) to introduce no-contract plans featuring affordable high-data options, the innovative loyalty rewards program (Circle of Joy), and a true borderless plan enabling flexible data usage not just in Singapore but also in other countries.

These initiatives really embody a mission to continue challenging the status quo and empower everyone to embrace authenticity and follow their dreams.Through celebrating diversity and promoting open dialogue, our goal is to foster a more empathetic and inclusive society. #DoYourOwnThing serves as a platform to spark vital discussions and empower users with mobile plans that go beyond data, offering VPN, mental health therapy, and 5G support,”  added Ebony.

Sparking conversations and challenging norms has never been easier with Do Your Own Thing‘s latest solutions.


What’s Included

Family Plan

Simplifies managing users’ digital needs by allowing one Primary
account holder to share data, talktime, and SMS with up to five
Sub-accounts, all on a single bill.


Users have access to 300GB data with up to 1TB rollover,
unlimited incoming calls, and 3000 minutes of outgoing talktime,

all shared across your family’s SIMs. It includes free 5G access
and exclusive benefits from the Circle of Joy rewards program.

5G Plan with VPN access
and subsidised mental

Get access to true 5G with 99% coverage as well as additional
lifestyle benefits – free 2 months ExpressVPN subscription,
subsidised mental health consultation with licensed therapists
from AloeMind and access to Circle of Joy reward programme.

For more information on the plans, visit

About Circles.Life

Founded in 2014, Circles is a global technology company reimagining the telco industry with its SaaS platform, helping telco operators launch and operate successful digital brands. Today, Circles is partnering with operators in 15 countries across 6 continents with the mission to deliver digital experiences to millions of people through our businesses.

With Circles.Life, our digital lifestyle brand, we empower and delight customers across the world by offering digital experiences that go beyond traditional telco services; and are active in countries such as Singapore and Australia.

Circles is backed by global investors such as Peak XV Partners (formerly Sequoia), Warburg Pincus, EDBI and Founders Fund – renowned institutions with a track record of backing category creators.

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