Digital habits across generations

Digital habits across generations

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. 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?

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Average: 4.2 (100 votes)

Submitted by farhadwahaj on Sat, 03/09/2022 - 06:51


I am a father of four children, I am the one who uses the most smartphone at home the reason is that I am teaching with my colleagues, and I usually do my work through my smartphone. But my children are keener than me to use the smartphone and play games in it, and they are addicted to the smartphone, however, I always tell to them to get off the phone, even, though I have broken some smartphones due to this reason.

Submitted by vANISH2004 on Thu, 01/09/2022 - 16:35


I think I use my devices such as laptop, mobile phone, computer, etc. the most among my family. But It doesn't feel like an addiction because such devices are used mostly to studying and rare online conversations, so that I wouldn't say something against it, although nowadays more and more people are neglecting their real life because of online globalization

Submitted by Nandar Su Hlaing on Wed, 10/08/2022 - 15:11


Actually, including me I always use phone the most one in my family or friends. So I remind by myself not to waste my valuable time. You have many things to do. Please emphasis your work like that.

Submitted by mardy on Tue, 02/08/2022 - 14:48


Well, It's definitely me .I used to addicted with phone a lot of time in a day when I was a high school student. Currently I can reduce it much more than before but not completely yet. Now I only use it at my spare time.

Submitted by EMF_12 on Thu, 30/06/2022 - 00:15


I think that my aunt is the one who uses her phone the most. But, it is only for work matters, so she keeps an eye on the phone for calls or Whatsapp messages. Furthermore, after the working day, she uses the phone to rest and see posts on Tik Tok (she makes videos too).

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


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


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


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


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