Virtual fun

One of the reasons for Mr Obama’s electoral success is that his campaign has been very effective in deploying young electronic communicators. They relentlessly use blogs and social networking sites to help spark excitement, collect money, get votes, and raise the political awareness of the whole of America.

All this is a milestone in the political history of the Internet. But the change of the modern communication – at best, the free – effect in poorer than the United States and severe social more dramatic: authoritarian regime and country until recently to give young people in a strict sense room for manoeuvre.

Many network observers question is: young surfers are exposed to facts, sights, sounds and a range of far beyond their parents’ dialogue, how will they use this visit to ask? Would they try to change the world, or would they just settle down to enjoy themselves?

With so much evidence to suggest the latter’s choice, experts have invented a new word, net-hedonism, to describe it. To the dismay of idealists, young people in many countries seem to have abandoned the previous generations of political struggle, and chose a digital nirvana, and enjoying a lot of movies, music, instant communication, of course, sexual opportunity. One attraction of cyberhedonism is that it is less likely to attract the attention of the authorities than politics.

Electronic entertainment ranges from innocents to life-threatening young ranges. In Nigeria, bestsellers offer young people “the touch of an unforgettable message”. Young indians like to browse the marriage website and look for a good match. A virtual tour can be made by visiting a newly married couple, such as the taj mahal, to celebrate. In richer Asian countries, such as South Korea or Singapore, young people are enthusiastic about online gambling, which is often addictive. Internet hedonism certainly does not replace real-life flirting and sex. It seems to just remove some of the obstacles. Chile has produced a culture of youth called pokemon sport, where teenagers with strange hairstyles come together to kiss or more.

In China, a third of respondents agreed with the idea that “pure online may have real relationships,” while one in five americans did. But it is clear that not all the Chinese people are happy to keep things virtual: operating pregnancy helpline in Shanghai said the doctor, she received the phone in half from the girl knew the boy through the network.

In many countries, the fact is that access to pornography is the biggest attraction for young people online. Guests in the newly arrived Middle East or southeast Asian cafes are often surprised to see a male client who clumsily protects their screens from public perception. The owners of these cafes knew what was going on, but they also realised that a crackdown in the name of morality could cost them business. Meanwhile, in the ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, most of the information passed between teenage mobile phones is pornographic.

The rise of Internet hedonism puts political leaders and religious institutions in a dilemma: do they follow young people online, or in vain attempt to lure them away from computers?

In Asia, some politicians have tried to profit from online hedonism by expressing their devotees. In last year’s election in Taiwan, the candidates vied for Internet and youth friendliness. A spokesman who hired a heavy metal band and posted a series of ads on video sharing site YouTube; He was frustrated by the explicit exchange of “lust, caution”, a popular porn film.

In living standards rising authoritarian countries such as Russia and China, until recently, the official tolerance of cyber-hedonism has always been the authorities to provide a “Faust” treaty: if you have new and unconventional ways, we will let you enjoy himself from politics. But now that the economy has gone bad, will young people continue to bargain?


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