MyGate ‘Trust Circle’ report: 81% now more connected with their neighborhood

Mumbai: The manner in which communities are formed and sustained has been dramatically altered by major advances in communication technology, and the advent of social media. For close to two decades, they have helped people overcome great distances by offering digital proximity, via likes, shares, comments, or chats. Simultaneously, though, they have frequently been cited as a reason for a deterioration in neighborhood relations, as the easy availability of information and ability to connect with friends and relatives online have left fewer opportunities and reasons to form relationships locally.

The events of the pandemic, however – the scrambling for essential items in the early part of lockdown and the organization of local vaccination drives, to name two examples – have re-established the importance of proximity and, therefore, brought about strong changes in the neighborhood. To understand the impact of the pandemic on people’s attitude towards their immediate surroundings, MyGate, India’s largest community application, commissioned a report, now titled ‘Trust Circle’.

The study witnessed participation from over 2,867 Indians of all ages across Tier-1 and Tier -2 cities, namely Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune. According to the report, while the degree or depth may differ, the emergence of neighborhoods as a pillar of the ‘Trust Circle’has become a national phenomenon, cutting across age groups, regions, and nature of dwelling. Around 80% of respondents living in gated communities and 71% in the non-gated communities are in agreement with the statement, “My ‘Trust Circle’ has shifted to include people in my neighborhood whom I am likely to interact with every day”.

Elaborating on the report’s findings, Mr. Vijay Arisetty, CEO & Co-founder, MyGate said, “It has been heartening to hear the many stories of neighbors coming closer together to tackle this unprecedented situation for over a year now. From this research, we can infer that these stories are not mere anomalies but the real expansion of our ‘Trust Circle’. The pandemic has re-infused the need to be connected with one’s neighbors, with all demographics showing greater trust in members of the neighborhood than before, be it the family next door, the local chemist, or the apartment security guard.

“Through this endeavor, we hope to understand the trust deficits that exist in communities and work to build bridges that can overcome these challenges.”

Illustrating the emergence of the neighborhood as part of the ‘Trust Circle’, 81% of respondents said that they are more likely to depend on their neighbors in case they needed any urgent help as compared to pre-covid levels where their dependency was much higher on close friends and relatives. It is heartening to note that the trust and relationship built with neighbors were not just limited to the health crisis but also reached new heights when it came to social engagement, and other regular interactions such as those related to electricity, water, maid, etc.

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