Ever since the Circuit Breaker kicked in on 7 April, the mode of leisure activities had shifted from shopping and movies to indoor activities like gaming, crafts and home fitness. Because of the closure of public spaces like shopping malls, workplaces, school and universities, Singaporeans were forced to try new hobbies as they were no longer allowed to head out due to the safe distancing measures.
According to research conducted by Picodi, it was reported that the interest in PC games had a drastic increase of 900 per cent. It was then followed by online courses which had an increase of 733 per cent, home gym with 655 per cent, as well as online games with 567 per cent.
Other hobbies that were found to gain popularity include setting up home gyms, gardening, puzzles, board games, TV series, origami, cooking, crocheting, card games, home cleaning etc. All these activities showed how Singaporeans were trying to utilise their time during the Circuit Breaker just to make their days count.
Besides doing activities that are conventionally “productive”, it seems that most Singaporeans prefer to de-stress with PC games instead.
Picodi is an international e-commerce platform which provides discount coupons for online stores. The platform was founded in 2010 in Kraków and it currently operates in 44 countries. They began operating in Singapore since 2015.
They explained that this research was conducted by investigating Google search queries and creating a ranking of the activities which gained the biggest popularity amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It was obvious that the staggering increase in these hobbies is all indoor activities.
The platform also stated that the research was based on the changes in the popularity of various keywords in March 2020 compared with March 2019, with the support of Google archival data. Within just one year, we are able to witness the colossal shift in interests when people are forced to stay home.
Looking at the chart Picodi created, usual leisure activities like watching movies at the cinema, attending concerts and theatres, photography and home renovation had significantly decreased in popularity since Singaporeans had to spend most of their time at home.
All these activities that lost popularity require people to leave their homes, therefore, it would be logical to see a drop in interests. Picodi’s evaluation of the statistics found that “cinema” had dropped by 93 per cent, “concerts” by 80 per cent and “theatre” by 79 per cent.
It is interesting to observe Singaporeans’ patterns in adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as how safe distancing had changed their lifestyles in just one year, or even a month. Perhaps it showed that no matter what the external factor is, humans will try their best to look for leisure or productive activities that will fit the situation.