The Internet is too lovely for people to hate. Any information you want is only a few clicks away. No matter where you are, there will be a way in cyber space that keeps you in touch with your loved ones. Business opportunities are so abundant online that the whole way of trading is being viewed in a new light. Money changed hands in a click of a second without the hassle of dealing with paper money. And public debate has never been so robust, courtesy of the unstoppable Internet: You can't destroy it if you try to. The Internet has truly become a daily essential to almost every member of any modern society. And already two billion strong, the virtual kingdom is still expanding.
But if you look at the other side of the coin, the Internet also makes people worry. While ostensibly helping people to communicate, the Internet alienates people in a way that the intimate face-to-face chitchat is often replaced by messages popping up on cold LCD screens, heartfelt snail mails supplanted by fast but tepid emails and a virtual world eats into the real life. Studies also showed that the Internet even changed people's way of thinking. Under the influence of the Internet, people now suffer from shortened attention span, less interest in reflection and introspection and even inability to engage in in-depth thought.
So what are the major impacts brought about by the Internet on people's lives? And how should we view the fact that the Internet has brought us so close and distanced us further apart?
Ni hao, you're listening to People In the Know, bringing you insights into the headline news in China and around the world, I'm Zheng Chenguang in Beijing. In this edition of the show, we'll take a look at the impact brought about by the Internet on people's lives.
We are joined by Prof. Christian Fuchs, Chair in Media and Communication Studies with the Department of Informatics and Media under the Uppsala University in Sweden, and Yang Boxu, Professor of International Communication and Research Methodology at the School of Journalism and Communication under the Peking University.