(Minghui.org) After I read some experience sharing articles on the Minghui website regarding the internet’s influence on people, especially its effect on practitioners, I wanted to share my understandings on how the internet controls people from the perspective of online shopping.

Old Forces Use the Internet to Control People

Without realizing it, the people in China are tightly controlled by the internet, which was imposed upon them by the old forces. Some see it as “progress” and a convenience brought about by modern science. But it is the old forces who use people’s laziness and desire for comfort to control people’s thoughts and actions. It causes people to rely on the internet more and more, leading them down a path of destruction.

The changes in internet usage in China have been particularly prominent in the past two years. People use WeChat and Alipay on the internet to pay for everything, including breakfast, groceries, furniture, clothing, home appliances, and so on.

In the beginning people were curious about the novelty and convenience of online payments. Gradually they became addicted to it and felt inconvenienced without it. If someone still uses cash, he is discriminated against by the seller. The Chinese have replaced the traditional use of currency with cellphone and online payment methods.

To further attract and control people, online shopping appeared. People don’t go to shopping malls or markets anymore. They think that online shopping is convenient, cheap, and fast. In addition, online shopping offers many choices, just about anything you can think of. It becomes addictive.

I didn’t pay attention to the harm of using the internet this way and often bought things from the Taobao website. The main reason I wanted to shop online was because things were cheaper. In order to buy cheaper things that were good quality, I spent a lot of time comparing online choices and wasted a lot of time, instead of studying the Fa. In addition, my mind became less pure.

Sometimes when exploring online I did feel that it had a negative effect on me. However, my pursuit of self-interest dominated my mind and controlled me. I knew the thought of taking advantage of the cheap price was the attachment to self-interest, but my main consciousness was not strong. Sometimes I tried to restrain my attachment, sometimes I let it go, and sometimes I was complacent because I’d gotten a good deal. The old forces saw my attachment to getting cheaper products and magnified it to take advantage of me.

Attachment to Pursuit and Sefl-Interest

My husband and I went out of town to pick up our child early in March of this year. My husband had no time to respond to debris on the highway and ran over it. The noise woke me up. After my husband explained what had happened, I told myself that it did not happen by accident and I needed to look inward. I found I often visited various online shopping websites to look for deals. This was my attachment to self-interest. I told Master that I knew I was wrong and asked him to see us home safely.

My husband stopped at a service center to check the tire and was told it was okay. We got off the highway, and my husband told me that a gas station nearby was having a promotion. So we went there because the gas was a lot cheaper. My pursuit of a good deal came back again, which I did not even realize. After we filled up the tank and got back on the road, we drove over a small pothole and the car shook and made a squeaky sound. We got out of the car and found a one-foot-long slit in the tire, which was odd.

I immediately realized the old forces had taken advantage of my attachment and wanted to harm me. Master protected me on the highway, otherwise it could have been dangerous.

I thought, “No matter what attachment I have, I will correct it. Your old forces are not worthy of persecuting me. My Master does not acknowledge you. I don’t acknowledge you. I must get rid of the pursuit of self-interest. Master, please strengthen me.”

My husband put on the spare tire and we returned home safely.

Later, I couldn’t get on the Minghui website. With another practitioner’s help, I found it was my attachment of pursuit of self-interest. After I confirmed it, I was able to visit the Minghui website immediately. I knew I must look inward seriously.

Master taught us:

“Perhaps you come from a truly significant place and all that you represent is tremendous; perhaps your powers prior to your time in this world were extraordinary. But it is hard not to fall for and get contaminated by this mundane world when confronted, just like everyone is, with all of its enticing things and all the things that tug at your emotions and attachments in order to get you off track. Fortunately, Dafa disciples have been cleansed continuously and had their karma eliminated by me throughout history, all the way up to the present. So you are different from ordinary people. As divine beings see it, anyone who can resist the mighty current that is pulling this world down and stand his ground is really something. Anyone who is unaffected by it is really exceptional! And yet Dafa disciples are not just unswayed by it all, but moreover, are going against the tide! (Applause.)” (“2018 Fa Teaching Given in Washington, D.C.”)

Why did I still not follow what Master taught us? I told myself, “Everyday people could not live without their cellphones and WeChat. As a Dafa practitioner, I should not only resist the tide but also go against it. I should live according to the traditional way of life in the future. I should try to avoid using instant messenger to communicate with people instead of face-to-face. I should go shopping at the markets and stores and use regular currency.”

I also realized that when practitioners use the online shopping software, we add energy to it. If we don’t look at it and don’t use it, it will die. That’s why the old forces use people’s attachments and addictions to going online to support it.

The Internet controls people’s behavior. Teachers communicate with parents using WeChat. Parents pay their children’s tuition fees using WeChat. Students need to apply and pay online even for important exams. The leaders and managers at work use WeChat to send instructions and orders. The public transportation asks people to pay tickets via cellphone. Anyone who does not participate is marginalized in this society. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) engages in massive data analysis, including of people’s online shopping habits, WeChat, and QQ activities. Because it can precisely analyze a person’s habits and personal preferences, it can control the users, yet most people are not even aware of it.

A Minghui notice asked practitioners to curtail their use of internet apps on June 30, 2018,

“We urge all Dafa practitioners and Dafa disciples to stop using WeChat, Tencent QQ, iCloud, Skype, and other similar software, regardless of whether you live in mainland China or other countries or regions of the world (“What All Dafa Disciples Must Know”)

I think that, although online shopping apps such as Taobao, Alipay, and Jingdong were not mentioned, we should also get rid of them. Such software can do us great harm. It confuses people, corrupts their thoughts, and indulges their poor behavior.

One of my relatives became addicted to online shopping and used a credit card to pay for it. She earned about 2,000 yuan per month but spent more than 5,000 yuan on shopping. In the end, she was unable to repay her debts and had to ask her mother to help bail her out. Due to the convenience of online shopping, some young people just buy whatever they like, which causes a lot of social problems. I suggest we all stay away from the Internet.