Read an article about how people at different ages use computers and smartphones to practise and improve your reading skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and do the exercises.

Reading text

Today's grandparents are joining their grandchildren on social media, but the different generations' online habits couldn't be more different. The over-55s are joining Facebook in increasing numbers, meaning that they will soon be the site's second biggest user group, with 3.5 million users aged 55–64 and 2.9 million over-65s.

Sheila, aged 59, says, 'I joined to see what my grandchildren are doing, as my daughter posts videos and photos of them. It's a much better way to see what they're doing than waiting for letters and photos in the post. That's how we did it when I was a child, but I think I'm lucky I get to see so much more of their lives than my grandparents did.'

Ironically, Sheila's grandchildren are less likely to use Facebook themselves. Children under 17 are leaving the site – only 2.2 million users are under 17 – but they're not going far from their smartphones. Chloe, aged 15, even sleeps with her phone. 'It's my alarm clock so I have to,' she says. 'I look at it before I go to sleep and as soon as I wake up.'

Unlike her grandmother's generation, Chloe's age group is spending so much time on their phones at home that they are missing out on spending time with their friends in real life. Sheila, on the other hand, has made contact with old friends from school she hasn't heard from in forty years. 'We use Facebook to arrange to meet all over the country,' she says. 'It's changed my social life completely.'

Teenagers might have their parents to thank for their smartphone and social media addiction as their parents were the early adopters of the smartphone. Peter, 38 and father of two teenagers, reports that he used to be on his phone or laptop constantly. 'I was always connected and I felt like I was always working,' he says. 'How could I tell my kids to get off their phones if I was always in front of a screen myself?' So, in the evenings and at weekends, he takes his SIM card out of his smartphone and puts it into an old-style mobile phone that can only make calls and send text messages. 'I'm not completely cut off from the world in case of emergencies, but the important thing is I'm setting a better example to my kids and spending more quality time with them.'

Is it only a matter of time until the generation above and below Peter catches up with the new trend for a less digital life?



Language level

Intermediate: B1


Constantly, I use whatsapp more to catch up with my husband, who lives in another country. Authentically, my youngest sister is the most member of my family who uses her indispensable smartphone hourly.

my grandfather is already died,and in their life they didn't used any kind of mother too,she didn't used it.However my father stars to use the smartphone to connect with his friends and his family on whatsapp,but not for a long time.On the other hand,my friends spent a lot off time on their phones watching videos and play games and chatting with people.

In my family, i am not the one who uses the smartphone most but my son's mom. She always keeps her smartphone around her by checking emails for work, social media for connecting with friends and families. Spending so much time on smartphone is not good because that means she has less time with my son and friends in real world, and also it's harmful for her body and mind. We see there is a rise that more and more people are addiction of it.

addiction to smartphone.

I'd like to describe what my family members do with their smartphones. For me, I'd like to use the phone to contact with my friends. Most of the time, I browse news happening in my country or all over the world. That can make me catch up with the world. Furthermore, I like to learn languages, so I spend some time on language-learning apps. As for my parents, they just do the same things what the elder do as mentioned in the paragraph. My older brother use phones to digest the news in the world. My older sister is addicted to the social media. She always keeps her phones by her side that seems to be afraid of missing any message.

I find it useful

The usage of handphones greatly increased in this generation compared to our past days in the 1990s. The youth today attach themselves too much with it that sometimes they become dysfunctional without having their phones anywhere they go. As for me, it is helpful as I'm working overseas and I need to connect with my family and friends from different parts of the world, it is much easier than writing a mail or telegram as compared decades ago. The disadvantage is, indeed, it has the tendency to disrupt your normal interactions with other people physically. So as a gentle advise, moderately use social media as it may also become addictive.

Today all people spend a lot of time using their smartphone. Maybe my friends use their phone a little more, because they use it for everything: to access Social networks, talk with friends, read news, as a clock alarm, as gps. For my friends their phone is the most important possesion. For my family the phone is less important.

My friends uses more the smartphone in comparison with my family. That is true because my children are 8 and 4 and we have rules about it. Like only in a limited time on weekends, or never in the dinning room. My friends and I use the smartphones all the time for different reasons: relax, work and socialize. I think that my wife and I spend a lot of time in social network, but I’m going to change it because is very important the example for our children.

I have a smartphone, but only for Facebook and some other social media. I am using my homme line to telephone family and friends, and sometimes using letters and postcards.