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 (99 votes)

Submitted by loveiseverything on Thu, 12/11/2020 - 06:26

I think it is my brother. He likes playing phone games all the time when he is free, and stays up late until 3 am. He is totally addicted to phones. Because of him, I hate all games. Too bad...

Submitted by togrul01 on Sat, 31/10/2020 - 16:05

My friends use the phone for more time than my parents. By the way, I have been addicted to my phone since the beginning of coronavirus
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Submitted by Aghaton on Wed, 21/10/2020 - 13:12

My youngest brother uses the phone most of the time in my family.I find out it is because she finds it easy to meet up with her friends who are far

Submitted by habibao.medo on Mon, 19/10/2020 - 11:08

the one who spend a lot of time on their phones mmmm i think it is me and my brother since we have nothing to do but i am trying to reduce my time with my phone and iam trying to learn english and finding a hoppy

Submitted by HxH on Fri, 09/10/2020 - 18:02

I think all people that I know use their phones regularly. They use it in making phone calls and entertainment as well. personally, I try to reduce my time on the phone and to use it more purposefully. In my opinion, The excessive usage of smartphone cause isolation and depression.

Submitted by shawn peter ru… on Thu, 08/10/2020 - 14:29

as a young generation that i have 18 years old, i can't use my smartphone or computer to playing computer games or using social media, i am in social media maybe three time in a week or i have not played computer games that always i see them in propagandas for two years. i like to use social media to have strong relationship and have enjoy in my life with playing computer games but as you know there is the issue of future and i have no time for using my social instrument an etc and as you know: Without suffering, treasure is not possible
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Submitted by danisep on Sat, 19/09/2020 - 22:14

Among family and friends my nephews use a lot of their phones, tablets and consoles. They always have energy and don't like to stay over there doing nothing if they have time so they start to chat and play with their friends.

Submitted by Alia sader on Wed, 16/09/2020 - 19:13

In fact , my husband use his smartphone the most in my family. I don ' t use my cell frequently , even , I forget that I have it . Exept when I have work .

Submitted by Roblox on Mon, 07/09/2020 - 18:07

I prohibit my kids from using a smartphone that makes my husband is on the very top and me the second place.

Submitted by melisong56 on Wed, 19/08/2020 - 15:31

In fact, as the young generation, I’m the one who uses the phone the most amongst all my relatives. I can spend 4 or more hours on the phone, just by scrolling on social media and look at the other things. Overtime, technology is actually cannot be separated by human. As many jobs and activities could be done by using the smartphone/computer itself.