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Rich But Friendless, Says Poll
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A Shanghai TV channel on Monday published the results of the 2006 Chinese people's fashion index. The result reflects Chinese people's lifestyle changes and the evolution of their ideas over the past 3-5 years, the Shanghai Evening Post reported.


The event was initiated by Channel Young, a Shanghai-based TV channel focusing on fashion trends.


While focusing on people's sense of happiness, the investigation results seem to indicate that the richer people become, the fewer friends they have and that people with a high education and good income do not necessarily have a happier life than those who have neither. In fact, they generally feel more anxious for it.


Nearly 20 percent of those interviewed in the report had the experience of buying luxury goods. However, over 50 percent of them felt regretful after doing so. This is even more common for younger consumers who are well-educated and have a higher income.


The investigation also shows that nowadays, people cook less at home. 17.2 percent of the people interviewed never ate breakfast at home and 17.4 percent never have lunch in their house. In addition, 7 percent of those polled had dinner less than 10 times a month at home. People with college education cook 33 percent less than those who quit after junior middle school whereas people earning 5,000 yuan or higher cook 30 percent less than those making less than 1,500 a month. Furthermore, high-income families usually have less time to have dinner together.


Feeling satisfied is a major factor in feeling happy. This shows that urban people's life tempo has become faster than it used to be. When people spend less time at home, their sense of belonging and satisfaction is diminished. Thus, even if they make more money and can afford sumptuous food every day at expensive restaurants, they won't necessarily feel happier than those who have simple food at home, said Professor Feng, a staff member at the Horizon Group which conducted the investigation.


Nowadays, many people ignore friends made in traditional ways and turn to a wider but more distant social circle. As a result, they have a lot of friends yet fewer close friends. Many people admit that they don't have any close friends. This, according to Feng, is one of the main reasons why people feel unhappy. Trends show that the richer one becomes, the fewer friends one has.


The China fashion index was based on a sample investigation polling 2,000 people living in 7 cities in China, including Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou.


(China News Service November 9, 2006)


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