Digital habits across generations

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

Instructions

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. In the UK 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 in the UK 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?

Discussion

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

Submitted by janinabaez19 on Wed, 08/06/2022 - 20:24

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Well, I really enjoy doing these exercises. It's improved my abilities in my exams.

Submitted by Hachi_ko on Mon, 30/05/2022 - 17:00

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Well I prefer do this activities becouse I can learn and practice the thinghs that I know, when I start doing the exercise for me was more easy stay and understood my classrs

Submitted by Adriana Gtz on Mon, 30/05/2022 - 16:55

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I think it's my son and me. The difference is that I use it mainly for work and I sometimes hate it and my son uses it for fun and to watch videos that interest him and make him learn more about something he wants to know.

Submitted by jyoti Chaudhary on Sun, 29/05/2022 - 12:55

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Who uses their phone the most among your family or friends?

in my family all of them use phones. in fact, my mom does not know how to use a smartphone. I gave her their mobile and he has regular practice and now she is expert fir using smartphones. when I was 21 years my father gifted me one mobile phone and I started whats app first time and facebook

Submitted by Polad Samadli on Mon, 04/04/2022 - 18:19

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ALL OF THEM '-'

Submitted by Khin_Burmese on Sat, 02/04/2022 - 17:20

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My friend, Khaing Sin Thant, uses smart phone among friends. She constantly uses it for Facebook, which is a fun place to share feelings and pretty moments among Burmese teenagers. Also, she spend her time on smartphone by chatting with her boyfriend. Besides, Khaing watch movies and series on her phone.

Submitted by alia fauzy on Sun, 27/03/2022 - 18:38

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In my family I think all of us are using them. My parents are addicted to facebook and whattsapp, while my little brother was addicted with online games and I am addicted to instagram and online games. Sometimes I felt like I don't want to play phone that day but end up playing phone all day. I admitted it is really disturbing me because of that 'playing phone' I procastinate my homework a lot and regret about it when it came to duedate but then I will repeat it again..
_(:з」∠)_

Submitted by Maksmatt on Sat, 18/12/2021 - 18:24

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My son, aged 11 is addict to his mobil phone. When I say to him that hes not allowed to see on his phone so often he gets angry. This is why we not allowed him his phone for one week now.

Submitted by Stela Stoycheva on Tue, 16/11/2021 - 23:17

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Me :( I`m sorry to my family about that because I miss valuable moments with them. I know its just wasting my time but its like a bad addiction...

Submitted by TAN SHIAO YEW on Wed, 10/11/2021 - 02:33

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Nowadays gadgets are important in our daily life includes my grandmother. She likes to watch lives in my Facebook account. I have recommended her to register a new account but she rejected. What I feel a bit irritable is sometimes she share the live to my personal account or my friends through messenger. Then I need to delete and explain to my friends. Although technologies are convenient for us but we need to control our uses in smartphones and spend more time with our family.