The Economist discovers the P.P.S., by way of “cyber-hedonism:”
To the dismay of idealists, young people in many countries seem to be giving up the political struggles of previous generations and opting instead for a sort of digital nirvana, revelling in a vast supply of movies, music, instant communication and of course, sexual opportunity. One appealing thing about cyber-hedonism is that, compared with politics, it’s less likely to attract the authorities’ attention.
[…] In richer Asian countries—like South Korea or Singapore—there is a passion among the young for online gambling that often becomes addictive. Cyber-hedonism does not, of course, replace real-life flirtation and sex; it merely seems to remove some of the obstacles. Chile has spawned a youth culture known as the Pokémon movement, in which teenagers with odd hairstyles gather to engage in kissing or more. All this—as well as the activity of conservative youth groups that disapprove—is co-ordinated electronically. […]
In authoritarian countries with rising living standards—such as Russia and China, until recently—official tolerance of cyber-hedonism has been a sort of Faustian pact offered by the authorities: we will let you enjoy yourselves, in new and unconventional ways, if you keep off politics. But now that economies have turned sour, will the young go on keeping their side of that bargain?
Elsewhere, Helen puts me to the question, translating it in terms of non-authoritarian countries with falling living standards.