10 weirdest groups on Chinese social media platform Douban
Digital existence is a series where we explore the impact of technology and the internet on people’s daily lives in China and beyond. This month, we’re listing 10 absolutely weird and wonderful online communities on popular Chinese social media platform Douban.
Unless you spend long hours browsing Chinese social media, you probably haven’t heard of Douban and its ecosystem of unique community groups. The user review platform has been dubbed the social network for chinese hipsters and has been compared to Reddit, but it also has review features, much like IMDb’s.
In addition to rating and reviewing films, television series and books, joining various thematic subgroups, xiaozu (小组), is arguably Douban’s most popular feature. After all, more and more Internet users are looking for a sense of community and belong to this digital era, which can be isolating.
Inevitably, things can get really weird on social media, and Douban is no different. Here are some of the most unique (and pleasant) communities we discovered there:
If you thought you were a hypochondriac, wait until you meet the 41,000 tooth-obsessed worriers in this group and check out their posts about oral cavity issues. Created in 2006, “We All Have Rotten Teeth” is filled with images of rotten teeth and x-rays you pray you never get.
While we assume some enjoy watching other people’s oral health issues, we warn you: this group is not for the faint of heart or stomach.
Milk tea has almost become the national drink in China with its thousands of varieties and immense popularity among young consumers. But if you’re worried about the condition of your teeth from drinking too much bubble tea (and don’t want to become a member of the first group on this list), then “Milkteaholics Anonymous” is for you. for you.
Here, nearly 2,000 members share their journeys of recovery from milk and tea addiction and encourage each other to stay away from the sugary drink. One way to collect milk tea fanatics to demonstrate their strength and determination is to share green tea emojis with other party members. (Presumably, green tea is the preferred crutch for kicking the milk tea habit…)
Don’t be scared off by wet markets. Whether or not the Wuhan market is the source of the Covid-19 pandemicmost wet markets in China do not have wild animals.
Instead, these places are the go-to place for many people in China to pick up groceries, ranging from tropical vegetables and fruits to fresh fish, poultry, pork and beef.
However, as online shopping and food delivery services becoming more accessible and convenient, China’s wet markets are disappearing, especially in major cities.
Wet market fans gathered in a Douban group with more than 144,000 market goers to document their favorite markets and mourn the loss of places that followed the path of the Dodo.
Members also share stories about their local markets, and some even try to map out all the best ones in their cities.
As the name suggests, this group of 2,500 members met online for a rather unfortunate reason: to discuss broken bones. Most of them share their recovery journey, while others ask questions such as “Is it a broken bone?” or “Is it true that you get fat when you break a bone?”
China owns the world most extensive metro network, with many cities hosting more than 20 metro lines and millions of passengers daily. Some young Chinese have developed a passion for subways and – you guessed it – have formed a Douban group to share the details of their daily journeys.
Some expats in the group of nearly 6,000 members also photograph and share images of subway systems overseas.
For members of this unique online community, the metro is not just a means of transportation but rather an icon of city life and ultimately a place to enjoy and enjoy.
Another place of mourning related to anatomy, this group offers both psychological and logistical support to those who have had or are about to have their appendix removed.
Although the group was established in 2007 and has only 600 members, it remains relatively active. While many are asking about the details of the surgery and the recovery process, some are using the space to publicly question whether they will be able to keep their appendix after it is surgically removed (yikes!).
Getting a haircut can be a traumatic experience. You walk into a hair salon with confidence, but you can never really know what you’ll look like when you walk through the door. This 894-member group is for those who would rather get their hair cut than deal with the stress of haggling with a barber.
Yes, you read that right: the members of this group claim to have extraterrestrial origins! Although social media doesn’t seem like an ideal place for aliens to get together, the group is an eclectic mix of conspiracy theories and paranormal travels. Some of the 4,253 members even complain of “not feeling at home on Earth”. So do we, extraterrestrial friends, so do we.
Arguably one of the more bizarre Douban subgroups on this list, this 13,700-member online community is populated by netizens posing as mushrooms. As such, discussing human-related issues is highly frowned upon.
One of the most popular threads is an angry thread: “Why do humans like to eat us?!” Others serve simply as a self-introduction, like “I’m a blue mushroom, who wants to be my friend?” No humans, please.
While some hate the air conditioning blowing through the room, others can’t live without it. This group welcomes the rants of its air-conditioning lovers, who seem to be in a permanent state of war against their roommates, family members and co-workers. The reason? A sudden disappearance of the AC remote control.
These are just a few of the hilarious communities we found on Douban. If that wasn’t enough to convince you to dive into Chinese social media and hunt for hidden gems, well, we don’t know what will.
Cover image via Haedi Yue