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【南华早报】科技之于孤独:解药还是毒针?

【南华早报】科技之于孤独:解药还是毒针?


人是一切社会关系的总和。只有在社会化的过程中,才能成就自己并互相成就。然而在现代社会中,人与人日益隔膜,情感无处安放,社会化过程也陷入停滞,于是开始寻求各种各样的情感寄托,或者干脆退回到自我世界里自娱自乐。城市很热闹,可那是外在的热闹;繁华褪尽,每个人都需要面对自己的内心。科技,能成为孤独的解药吗?


科技之于孤独:解药还是毒针?

【南华早报】科技之于孤独:解药还是毒针?

作者:Jane Cai

译者:邵海灵&徐嘉茵

校对:邹世昌

编辑:赵萌萌


Loneliness: the latest economic niche opening up in China

孤独:开启中国最新商机


本文选自《南华早报》 | 取经号原创翻译

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Kelly Hui, a 26-year-old photographer, shares a 60 square metre flat in Shenzhen with a flatmate, but they seldom talk.

慧,摄影师,今年26岁,在深圳与室友合租一间60平米的公寓,两人却几乎从不交谈。


Her most constant companion is, instead, a virtual frog found in the Japanese smartphone game Tabikaeru: Travel Frog.

最常陪伴她的却是一款日本手游Tabikaeru的主人公:一只虚拟的旅行青蛙。


Even though there is no official Chinese version available yet, the game has been the top free simulation game on the mainland Apple App Store for months. The game has been downloaded more than 10 million times around the world in the three months since it was launched in November, according to developer Hit Point, with Chinese players accounting for 95 per cent of those downloads. 

尽管官方中文版还未上线,但在中国大陆的苹果商店里,这款游戏已连续数月占据养成类游戏第一名。据开发商Hit Point公布的数据,自去年11月推出以来,短短3个月时间里,该游戏在全球的下载量已经突破了一千万,其中95%来自中国玩家的贡献。


The main protagonist is a frog that goes on adventures around Japan. Players collect clover that grows in the frog’s garden so they can buy supplies for the frog’s journeys.

游戏的主人公是一只在日本到处探险的青蛙。玩家通过收割青蛙院子里长出的三叶草来为它购置旅行装备。

protagonist /proˋtæɡənɪst/ n.

chief character in a drama, 主角


In return, the frog sends players souvenirs and snapshots during its trips. Users cannot control when the frog chooses to go on its adventures.

作为回报,青蛙会给玩家带回纪念品,也会发来旅行途中的快照。但青蛙何时踏上旅程是它自己的选择,用户是控制不了的。


“I hadn’t heard from it for three days, so when I received a postcard from the frog I burst into tears,” Hui said. “It is a dear friend to me.”

“我已经三天没收到它的消息了,所以收到青蛙寄来的明信片,我哇地一下就哭了,”慧说,“它是我亲密的朋友。”


“Also, many times, I feel it is me, being independent and doing whatever I like to do alone.” Hui represents a new type of Chinese consumer: well-educated, young and willing to spend – but spending alone.

“而且,很多时候我都感觉这只青蛙就是我,独立自主,独来独往,想做什么就做什么,但始终是一个人。”慧代表了一类新型中国消费者:受过良好教育,年纪轻,愿意花钱 —— 可花钱的时候是一个人。


The “empty nest youth” is an emerging theme in the Chinese economy, according to the first Economy of Loneliness report released in January by Momo, a dating application and operator of the mainland’s largest video streaming platform, and Xiaozhu, a home-sharing app similar to Airbnb. 

今年1月,脉脉数据研究院联合小猪短租发布了首份《孤独经济》白皮书,称“空巢青年”已经成为中国经济中崛起的一股生力军。

译者注:脉脉是中国最大的职场实名社交平台,数据研究院是脉脉旗下的一家泛行业、泛职场型趋势研究与数据分析机构。该应用与“陌陌”同音,所以很容易混淆。而小猪短租是国内一家类似爱彼迎(Airbnb)的房屋共享应用。


The report says such young people are “usually single”, “renting a flat” and “living in a city away from their family and relatives”. 

报告说,这类青年往往是“单身且独自租房的年轻人,远离故乡和亲人,独自在大城市奋斗打拼”。


“The stress to survive and succeed in big cities exacerbates their feeling of loneliness, and they are seeking emotional outlets by embracing loneliness and consuming loneliness,” the report said. 

报告提到,“大城市的生存发展压力加剧了他们的孤独感,而他们通过接受孤独、消费孤独寻求情感宣泄。”


About 67 per cent of the more than 10,000 people younger than 47 surveyed by the institute last year said they watched television or movies to shed their loneliness; more than 49 per cent played smartphone games; 46 per cent went to a bar; 39 per cent went to a gym and nearly 25 per cent listened to music or sang karaoke.

在去年参与该机构调查的一万多名47岁以下受访者中,约有67%的人说自己通过看电视或电影来排解孤独;超过49%的人会玩手游;46%的人去酒吧;39%的人去健身;近25%的人会去听音乐或K歌。


While there are no clear estimates of the size of China’s “loneliness economy”, many businesses, from hotpot restaurants to entertainment equipment makers, are trying to profit from the lifestyle. 

虽然对中国“孤独经济”的规模并没有明确的估计,但从火锅店到娱乐设备的制造商,许多商家都在试图从这种生活方式中获利。


Mini karaoke booths, tucked away in shopping malls, cinemas, airports and even subway stations, have mushroomed across Chinese cities in the past three years. The booths, usually equipped with an air conditioner, a couple of chairs and headsets, are similar to traditional karaoke bars, but in a smaller, more intimate environment. 

隐藏在商场、影院、机场甚至地铁站一角的迷你卡拉OK唱吧,在过去三年中如雨后春笋般涌现在中国各大城市里。这种唱吧通常装有空调、几把椅子和耳麦,就像传统的K歌房一样,只是地方更小,环境更私密。

mushroom: spread or increase in number rapidly, 迅速扩散或增加


Scanning a QR code, twenty-something Zuo Yiran paid 25 yuan (US$4) via her mobile wallet to sing for 15 minutes in a mini karaoke in a corner of a supermarket in Beijing on a Sunday afternoon. 

周日下午,北京某超市角落的一个迷你KTV里,二十多岁的左怡然(音译)扫了下二维码,通过手机钱包支付25元(约合4美元),欢唱了15分钟。


“I just planned to buy some snacks,” she said. “Tempted by the mini karaoke, I sang eight songs and it made me feel less bored on this cold winter day. “

“我本来只打算买点小零食,”她说道。“但被迷你K歌吸引了。我唱了八首歌,今天这么冷,唱唱歌就让我感觉没有那么无聊了。”


“It’s cool that you can enjoy yourself wholeheartedly and you don’t have to make conversation or endure others’ microphone obsessions. When you feel like sharing, you can record the songs you sang and send them to your friends through your smartphone.”

“你可以全心全意地享受这个过程,无需交谈,也无需忍受别人抢麦,真的很爽。你还可以在想要分享的时候录下唱过的歌,再通过智能手机发给朋友。”


There are now at least 20,000 mini karaoke booths operating across the mainland, with the value of the market estimated at 3.18 billion yuan last year, up 93 per cent on 2016, according to iiMedia Research, a Guangzhou-based consulting firm. It predicts 120 per cent growth this year to 7 billion yuan. 

据位于广州的咨询公司艾媒咨询统计,目前在中国大陆至少有20000个迷你KTV,其2017年的市场估值为31.8亿元,与2016年相比增长了93%。艾媒咨询预计该指标在今年会增长至70亿元,增长率达到120%。


Xiabu Xiabu, a hotpot restaurant chain that offers “one person, one pot” outperformed many Hong Kong-listed traditional restaurant operators in the past year, seeing its share price triple.

提供“一人一锅”的火锅连锁品牌呷哺呷哺,去年的业绩表现比许多在香港上市的传统餐厅好得多,股价上涨了两倍。


Technology is making it easier for people to enjoy being alone, with shared gyms springing up in some residential communities in Beijing last year. People can run in the five square metre spaces, which are equipped with a treadmill, TV screen and an air purifier, while watching a video or listening to music, with the outside world shut out by a glass door. 

去年,共享健身房如雨后春笋般涌现在北京的部分居民区里,显示出科技正在把享受孤独变成一件更容易的事。人们可以在5平米大的房间里一边跑步,一边看视频或听音乐,这个房间配备有跑步机、电视屏幕以及空气净化器,一道玻璃门将其与外界隔绝开来。


Mark Greeven, associate professor of innovation and entrepreneurship at Zhejiang University, said: “We may see a phenomenon, facilitated by technology, where young Chinese people, especially millennials, are looking for individual experiences and personalised services more than the previous generation; not unlike their peers in other countries.”

浙江大学创新创业研究院副教授马克·格里温说道:“我们也许会看到这样的现象:由于科技推动,中国的年轻人,尤其是千禧一代,他们比上一代人更追求个人体验以及个性化服务;这跟其他国家的同龄人并没有什么不同。”


Chinese consumers, often faced with long, tedious commutes, tiring jobs and competitive workplaces, found solace in entertainment technology which gave them ways of blowing off steam outside the traditional, relationship-driven society they were part of every day, Greeven said. 

格里温表示,中国的消费者通常面临这样的状况:通勤冗长且乏味,工作让人疲惫,工作场所充满竞争,每天都身处由关系主导的传统社会中。娱乐科技能让他们逃离这样的处境,好好地发泄一下,从中得到慰藉

solace /sɑlɪs/ n.

(thing that gives) comfort or relief (from pain, trouble, distress, etc) 安慰; 慰藉; 给予安慰的事物

blowing off steam: 释放压力、发泄


“However, I’d argue that technology is facilitating loneliness rather than allowing Chinese consumers to embrace it,” he said. “There is plenty of evidence that youngsters would rather spend time on their smartphones than on playing with friends, dating, working and just hanging around.”

“然而,我认为科技正在助长孤独,而非使中国消费者接受孤独,”他认为,“大量证据表明,与其花时间跟朋友玩耍、约会、工作或者单纯的闲逛,年轻人更愿意把时间花在智能手机上。”


“I’m not against technology at all, it is one of the wonders of our society, but the slightly addictive nature of certain social networks and the fact that a handful of technology giants control those information streams does make me worry about the long-term societal effects.”

“我一点也不反对科技,它是社会的奇迹之一,但某些社交网络有着轻微的令人上瘾的特质,并且有少数科技巨头在控制信息流,这些确实让我担忧科技带来的长远的社会效应。”


Hu Xingdou, a political economist with Beijing Institute of Technology said: “The loneliness economy in China is expected to become bigger than Japan’s, even though loneliness is the norm there as the country has been suffering from a serious ageing problem for a long time amid an alienated interpersonal relationship culture.”

北京理工大学的政治经济学家胡星斗表示:“在日本,孤独已成为一种常态,因为这个国家受老龄化困扰为时已久,疏离的人际关系也是他们文化的一部分。但尽管如此,中国的孤独经济规模仍然将会超过日本。”


In China, hundreds of millions of migrants had moved to work in cities amid rapid urbanisation. Intense competition meant they faced severe stresses in their pursuit of success, he said, and they also struggled under a sometimes unfair distribution system that featured rampant corruption and official-businessmen collusion. 

在中国快速推进的城市化进程中,数以亿计的农民工转移到城市工作。胡星斗表示,激烈的竞争意味着他们在追求成功的过程中会面临着沉重的压力,同时也要在一个时有不公的分配体制下奋斗,这个体制里腐败猖獗,官商勾结。


“Japanese people have faith in their employers, who they usually serve for their whole lifetime; Western people can work closely with various communities, clubs and charity groups,” Hu said. “While China suppresses the development of non-governmental organisations, Chinese people are destined to be lonelier than people elsewhere.” 

“日本人信任他们的雇主,通常会终身为其效力;西方人可以跟不同的群体、社团和慈善团体密切合作,”胡星斗说。“然而,中国却镇压非政府组织的发展,中国人注定比别人要孤独。”


【南华早报】科技之于孤独:解药还是毒针?


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【南华早报】科技之于孤独:解药还是毒针?

<原文链接:http://www.scmp.com/news/china/economy/article/2133317/loneliness-latest-economic-niche-opening-china>

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