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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Submitted by desouza on Wed, 07/04/2021 - 19:16

Sometimes I think, I can't without live my mobile phone, it is not just the phone .I keep all of my important information in my smart phone. I have a lot of pin as like as you and I can't hold inside my hand all of the information .Also I use my phone as a note book.When we bet any topic with my friend , I always check it out on internet. I was young before the internet, it was a good time without smart phone but İf we had a information any topic, we were check in the big heavy books and there are not always true. I love my smart phone and I m pretty sure that I am not addicted on internet.

Submitted by TIa vinaka on Tue, 06/04/2021 - 04:16

I guess it's me. My friends and My family are not so addicted to smartphone and social media. so do I. but I'm into a game recently. I can't help playing the game. I used my smart phone only a few minutes per day before but after found this game I use it over 3hours or more per day.

Submitted by Frank Cuello on Wed, 31/03/2021 - 15:38

I think we all use the smartphone in the same amount of time, which is bad because we spend at least four hours of our days in these gadgets.

Submitted by In on Sat, 27/03/2021 - 08:03

I think that they both use their smartphones equality.

Submitted by YED on Thu, 18/03/2021 - 21:12

It s really amazing to see how eenagers and children are comfortables withs smartphones, they use them every day and night for everything, they can forget theirs schoolbook, but never their phones!

Submitted by Rano on Tue, 16/03/2021 - 19:14

Now the number of people ues the digital life increase in the all of the world that is effect in social life. In my family not ues much their phone. I hope to keep this behavior.

Submitted by ahmad 920 on Fri, 05/03/2021 - 13:24

All generation on my family uses social media applications like facebook. The new generation use these apps more than an old generation.

Submitted by Verna Budi Amanda on Wed, 17/02/2021 - 03:21

we cant deny that social media really affected our lives. Since my parents know instagram and stuffs we barely talks even if we sat to each other in a living room. I wanted to have a little chit chat with them, but they are too busy with their social media. And i hate it when i try to make a conversation but they just look at their phone screen and not into my eyes :)

Submitted by German on Tue, 16/02/2021 - 01:12

My friends use their phones more than my family. However, my father use his phone so much, not only to call or chat but also to social media like Facebook.