The advance of technology in China has made a radical change in people's lifestyle. Nowadays, people can make a living without even leaving their home for a long time. This kind of lifestyle is called "宅 (zhái)" in Chinese.
If a person who seldom goes out is addicted to the Internet or TV plays, he or she can be described as "宅 (zhái)". This use of "宅 (zhái)" is introduced from Japan. In Japan, lots of people are crazy about comics and video games and stay at home all day long, burying themselves in shows, comic books and games. This group of people is called "宅男 (zhái nán)" (jap. Otaku) for men and "宅女 (zhái nǚ)" for women. This concept was introduced to China. "宅 (zhái)", as a adjective, is widely accepted and used by the Chinese younger generation.
如果一个人总是不出门，可能沉迷于网络和电视剧，我们就说他"宅 (zhái)"。"宅 (zhái)"的这个用法，是从日本引进的：在日本，有一些非常热爱动漫或游戏的人，他们整天在家，把自己泡在这些娱乐中。这些人被称为"宅男 (zhái nán)"、 "宅女 (zhái nǚ)"。后来这个概念进入中国。"宅 (zhái)"作为形容词，也被中国年轻人接受并且使用。
Quite a few Chinese young people tend to be "宅 (zhái)". Many students can sit in front of their computers for a whole day in the university dormitory. For now, lots of social websites are quite popular among the people, such as Facebook, Myspace and Twitter. In China, limited to the language and custom, people tend to choose Chinese social websites, such as Renren and Sina Weibo, and more and more are keen on chatting on QQ and WeChat. Meanwhile, quite a lot of people enjoy watching various online videos on Youtube, Youku or Tudou. They can't help but follow online videos that range from hot variety shows, classic animated movies to the funny videos made by net users. Without saying a word at home, these "宅男 (zhái nán)" and "宅女 (zhái nǚ)" prefer communicating with each other through the Internet.
What makes a person turn into "宅男 (zhái nán)" and "宅女 (zhái nǚ)"? No matter if they're students or office workers, once they start learning or working, they go under great pressure. People in China face huge competition from time to time living in a country with such a large population. That is why they want to entertain themselves after work and just relax. Chinese people love all kinds of new things, and the Internet largely satisfies their curiosity. Another reason why Asians are prone to becoming shut-ins is the character of Easterners. Compared with Westerners, Chinese people tend to be more restrained. Therefore, they prefer to get information quietly or share their feelings with friends alone rather than participating in parties or large public events.
为什么他们都成了"宅男 (zhái nán)"和"宅女 (zhái nǚ)"呢？学生也好、上班族也好，一旦开始工作学习，他们的压力是比较大的，何况中国人口这么多，人们要面对很多竞争。所以，当人们一离开工作，就会想到要好好消遣消遣。中国人特别喜欢新鲜的事物，网络在很大程度上满足了人们的好奇心。另一个原因是中国人的性格。和西方人比较，中国人的性格相对比较内敛。所以，中国人参加聚会不多，人们更喜欢独自安静地在网络上获取信息，或者单独和朋友分享自己的心情。