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Can we live without the Internet?

Reporter: Lin Nan 丨 CCTV.com

07-10-2016 05:24 BJT

The Internet has affected almost every aspect of modern life. But the question now goes --- can we live without it? And how we should define our relations with it? An association in Shanghai challenged six people to rethink how the Internet is affecting their lives.

Can you imagine a life without electricity? For most people, the answer is probably no. How about a life without Internet? A life without emails, instant messages, and the ability to look for information any time, anywhere?"

That's the question by the Shanghai Information Services Association. Six volunteers from all walks of life joined the challenge, Survive in Shanghai without the Internet for 72 hours. They were split into two teams -- Offline and Online, to make a comparison.

At the beginning of the challenge, 25-year-old designer Li Zhihao from Team Offline faced various difficulties.
Can't hail a taxi at the rush hour. Forgets to bring cash and cannot pay by phone at the restaurant. Unable to book cinema ticket online and ended up watching TV at home.

"Life was so inconvenient without the Internet, and I didn't know how to live without it at the beginning. But I also found the pleasure I have ignored for so long, like playing the guitar, and talking to friends face-to-face. I need to rethink my relation with the Internet," said Li Zhihao, Team Offline member.

Another Team Offline member, 54-year-old retiree Wang Yan, thought the challenge was intense.

"I can scan the code and pay by phone with the Internet. Now I have to bring cash and leave many coins in my purse," said member Wang Yan.

The test also gave Team Online members a chance to see how they rely on the Internet everyday.

"I can see my life from a different perspective. I book takeaways online, look for job online, make friends online. I almost do everything online. I am sticking with my phone 24 hours a day," said member Jian Yi.

From online shopping to mobile payment, from video-chatting with family to webcasting to strangers and making new friends ... the Internet has shaped our lifestyles and behaviors in many ways that we have never imagined before.

"We can't live without the Internet, but I think we should use it moderately and not depend on it too much. There are also many beautiful things to explore in real life," said member Chang Wei.

"There is no right or wrong, yes or no answer in this test. But it triggered us with two questions. How to help the elderly embrace the Internet to make their lives easier, and how to encourage the young people to get life skills without the Internet," said Lu Lei, secretary-general of Shanghai Information Service Association.

The Internet has changed our lives in an inevitable speed and way. How can people make the most out of it and not become addicted are still the subject of loooong discussions, online or offline?

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