Task 2: In the modern world it is possible to shop, work and communicate with people via the internet and live without any face-to-face contact with others. Is this a positive or negative development?
• Introduction: (1) refer to the statement in the question (2) state that you think there are both positive and negative aspects of this trend
• Paragraph 2: the internet is useful (1) friends – easy to keep in touch (2) shopping – save time and petrol, look for bargains online (3) work – own working hours, avoid commuting
• Paragraph 3: people need face-to-face contact (1) false virtual friendships -e.g. paedophiles (2) clothes, books – better to buy in shops (3) work – personal contact with colleagues – creativity, avoid misunderstandings
• Conclusion: there are both positive and negative aspects.
It is true that in contemporary life people in many parts of the world are able to do their shopping, work and communicate with each other via the internet. While there are clear positive aspects of this trend, there are also negative aspects of having less face-to-face contact with other people.
On the one hand, the internet can be very handy in many ways. Many people use it to keep in touch with friends and family, using Facebook, Skype or What’s App to send instant messages or to enjoy a quick chat. Many also use the internet for online shopping, thus saving time and petrol on trips to the supermarket as well as hunting around different sites for bargains. However, it is in terms of work that the internet offers the most potential benefits. More and more people are working or even studying from home, at hours which suit their own schedules. Many hours are saved each week by eliminating the daily commute and the stress of coping with the rush hour.
On the other hand, as social beings, people need personal contacts. Firstly, virtual friendships which are formed online may not be genuine. The media carries many horror stories of youngsters who have fallen prey to paedophiles, for example. Secondly, online shopping is not always appropriate, depending on the item. It is best, for instance, to try on clothes before buying, and while a bookworm can find almost any book title that they want online, they will certainly miss browsing the shelves of bookstores. Finally, personal interaction with work colleagues can generate ideas and avoid misunderstandings.
In conclusion, although there are positive aspects of this trend, there are also aspects of face-to-face contact which it would be a shame to lose.
• contemporary [adjective]:
Meaning: belonging to the present time
Example: Life in contemporary Britain is much easier now than it was for previous generations.
• handy [adjective]:
Example: I live next door to a supermarket, so it’s very handy if I need to do some shopping.
• to keep in touch with [expression]:
Meaning: to communicte with somebody regularly
Example: I keep in touch with my sister by Skype or sending e-mails.
• to hunt around [phrasal verb]:
Meaning: to look for something that is difficult to find
Example: They have been hunting around for a flat for at least six months.
• bargain [noun]:
Meaning: a thing bought for less than the usual price
Example: These shoes were half-price in the shop, and I bought them because they were such a bargain.
• schedule [noun]:
Meaning: a list of things that you have to do at certain times
Example: Even people who work from home need to follow a schedule to
complete all the tasks that they need to do.
• to eliminate [verb]:
Meaning: to remove or get rid of something
Example: People with diabetes must eliminate sugar from their diet.
• to cope with [phrasal verb]:
Meaning: to deal successfully with something
Example: It is difficult to cope with a job and to study at the same time.
• the rush hour [noun]:
Meaning: the time (usually twice a day) when the roads are full of traffic and the trains and buses are crowded, because people are travelling to and from work. Example: In Paris, it is impossible to find a seat on the Metro during the rush hour.
• social beings [noun]:
Meaning: people who like to be in the company of others
Example: As social beings, we find it difficult to live in isolation for long periods of time.
• to fall prey to [expression]:
Meaning: to be harmed or affected by something bad
Example: Unemployed and homeless, he fell prey to drinking heavily.
• paedophile [noun]:
Meaning: a person who sexually abuses children
Example: Parents must warn their children that paedophiles on the internet often adopt a false identity.
• to try on [phrasal verb]:
Meaning: to test a piece of clothing to see if it fits
Example: These shoes look very smart – try them on to see if they are the right size for you.
• bookworm [noun]:
Meaning: a person who likes reading very much
Example: Sarah is a real bookworm, and I never see her without a book in her hand.