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Chinese youth obsessed with sharing lifestyle habits on social media

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-02-28 21:08
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YINCHUAN - It is increasingly popular for Chinese youth to share their experiences on social media, such as the "moments" platform on popular instant messaging service WeChat.

"I have been reading 'Jane Eyre' for 40 days with 48,000 words finished," Li Anqi said. Li has been sharing her reading experience on WeChat moments every day since January.

Working in Yinchuan, capital of Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region, Li is eager to learn English, but cannot bare the daily grind of formal lessons.

"I found many of my WeChat friends had been reading books or learning English on mobile reading apps, and I did not want to fall behind," Li said.

In January, she spent more than 100 yuan (about $16) purchasing an online reading class at the Bohe Reading app, which tells customers they can: "Finish reading your first English book here."

At the reading class, teachers assign reading homework and give instructions to 430 class members every day.

The app counts how long users have spent reading and turns it into a social competition. The users complete on a daily leaderboard that covers all the group members, who can share their rankings on WeChat moments.

This called "group reading" by Chinese Internet users, who think it can create a competitive environment to help members cultivate a reading habit.

"Now 10 minutes of reading before sleep every day has become my habit," Li said. "I am reading a second book. The habit brings me a strong feeling of satisfaction."

According to a survey result released by the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication, in 2016 about 66 percent of Chinese adults used mobile phones for reading, maintaining growth for eight years in a row.

Besides sharing their reading habits, more Chinese are also sharing their dieting and bodybuilding experiences on social media.

Last year, 34-year-old Zhang Dongxin joined a lifestyle management group on WeChat in an effort to cure her polycystic ovary syndrome.

"Food and exercises are helpful to alleviate my disease syndromes, but it is hard to keep up with dieting and exercise without supervision," Zhang said.

In the group, Zhang shares her food and exercise lists with the members every day. After three months, Zhang said her physical indicators had improved.

"It is hard to change a person's lifestyle alone," Zhang said. "Sharing your experience with friends on social media, and completing them can help you a lot."

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