Internet has penetrated all areas ranging from dinner, taxi, complaint, relationship, education, parenting, tax, medical issues to negotiation, contracts, protests, declaration of war and peace… Until the end of last century, it was associated with imaginative futurism, but today it has become part of the core of modern life. Birth and death, love and hate, are all brimming with energy in the virtual world.
At the end of 2013, there are 2.7 billion netizens around the globe, which makes up a third of the world population. Among them 0.6 billion are Chinese-speaking, and this number grows by 5 million every month. Chinese is the second biggest language of the internet, and the Chinese-speaking community is the biggest group of netizens in the world. It won’t be too long before Chinese becomes the dominant language of the cubic world.
A type of technology originated in the west, the internet is not as open and obvious as cannons and warships bombing city gates, but it “tiptoes into the night and nourishes all silently” . The internet has no impressive concrete appearance as a train or a plane, but is only “hidden in the depth of the clouds”. However, the changes it has brought to the Chinese-speaking society are as big, if not bigger than, the unprecedented transforming period that occurred about one hundred years ago as a result of western invasion.
It expedites alternation of generations. It penetrates national territories. It breaks ethic chains. It defines social relations. It transforms working space and life styles. In the virtual world, it creates exchanges, relationships, trust, and judgment and all of their opposites. It opens a door to the grand world for a small individual, but it locks numerous individuals in their own corners of small happiness. It makes the sun closer than the capital, but it pulls generations apart over a distance further than the moon. It never stops expanding the immeasurable map of digital information, but it also fragments and atomizes knowledge and power. It creates fake products but also forges authenticity. It can be a dove of peace as well as weapon for war. Amidst the mountainous waves of digital streams, what kind of changes will the internet bring to the Chinese-speaking society? Or, what will it turn the society into?
At this moment, we see that traditional banks in mainland China are shaking with the advent of online payment, that in Taiwan internet mobilization among youngsters has far greater power than calls from political parties, that Hong Kong’s facebook user percentage is the highest in the world. What is the implication behind these phenomena? What can we detect about the trends of mind in the society? Some say that the only unchanged thing about the internet is that it’s always changing. In the gap of this digital era of transience, we have to plug in Life @Web, to download the vestiges of past events in documentary films.
We hope to see your uploading your observation and insights of this theme. It can be a traditional narrative documentary film, a journalistic presentation of experimental nature, or a documentary project with a campaign, game, website, or App attached. You tell us, what colors the internet will bring to our life, and what kind of masks, or souls, life will bestow on the internet.