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This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 sample answer on the topic of internet and phone dependence from the real IELTS exam/test.

It is a very common question and I have written some similar essays on social networking sites and face-to-face interaction before.

Studying the vocabulary and ideas below could be really helpful if a similar question comes up on your exam!

Dave

Before reading, listen to my answer and take notes on the ideas and vocabulary. Then read and check.

IELTS Writing Task 2 General Training: Internet & Phone Dependence (Real Past IELTS Tests/Exams)

More and more people today are becoming overly dependent on the internet and phones.

Is this a positive or negative development?

Real Past IELTS Tests/Exams

The advent of smartphones has led to widespread internet addiction. Although this shift has its conveniences, it signals a decline in healthy activity.

Those who contend that the overall value of phones and the internet is a net positive can easily point to its versatility. The vast majority of people today would either reluctantly or enthusiastically admit they cannot live without their phones. If you are on a road trip or meeting a friend at a new cafe, you will need Google maps to find your way. The best method of booking a restaurant or researching online and offline businesses is through Facebook. All that only touches the surface of what the internet allows for ranging from sending emails, trading stocks online, posting on social media, to binge watching videos on streaming sites.

Despite the pile of advantages listed above, phones and the internet take up more time than they merit. The reason for this is that people get stuck in feedback loops, exchanging their time for momentary bursts of dopamine, no different from any other drug addict. Before the internet an individual might waste time watching television but still engage in a greater proportion of healthy habits like hanging out with friends, reading books, making art, exercising or taking up another worthwhile hobby. The healthy rush from those activities is chemically identical to scrolling through an algorithm mindlessly. The only distinction is that some distractions have more value in terms of physical and mental health than others.

In conclusion, the ubiquity of an internet living in your pocket has led to a decrease in engagement with healthy activities. In order to remedy this, people must take it on themselves to break their dependence as no government will ever regulate this drug properly.

Analysis

1. The advent of smartphones has led to widespread internet addiction. 2. Although this shift has its conveniences, it signals a decline in healthy activity.

  1. Paraphrase the overall topic of the whole essay.
  2. Give your opinion – choose a side and make it clear!

1. Those who contend that the overall value of phones and the internet is a net positive can easily point to its versatility. 2. The vast majority of people today would either reluctantly or enthusiastically admit they cannot live without their phones. 3. If you are on a road trip or meeting a friend at a new cafe, you will need Google maps to find your way. 4. The best method of booking a restaurant or researching online and offline businesses is through Facebook. 5. All that only touches the surface of what the internet allows for ranging from sending emails, trading stocks online, posting on social media, to binge watching videos on streaming sites.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end of the sentence.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Begin to develop it with specific examples.
  4. Keep developing it and be as specific as possible – real companies, real situations.
  5. Add in more support. For the internet, there are so many areas to touch on so I listed a lot of them at the end.

1. Despite the pile of advantages listed above, phones and the internet take up more time than they merit. 2. The reason for this is that people get stuck in feedback loops, exchanging their time for momentary bursts of dopamine, no different from any other drug addict. 3. Before the internet an individual might waste time watching television but still engage in a greater proportion of healthy habits like hanging out with friends, reading books, making art, exercising or taking up another worthwhile hobby. 4. The healthy rush from those activities is chemically identical to scrolling through an algorithm mindlessly. 5. The only distinction is that some distractions have more value in terms of physical and mental health than others.

  1. Another topic sentence with a clear main idea.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Again – be as specific as you can with your supporting ideas and examples.
  4. Continue developing the same main idea and don’t swtich to a new main idea.
  5. Conclude your paragraph by drawing conclusions/results from your main idea.

1. In conclusion, the ubiquity of an internet living in your pocket has led to a decrease in engagement with healthy activities. 2. In order to remedy this, people must take it on themselves to break their dependence as no government will ever regulate this drug properly.

  1. Repeat your opinion.
  2. Add in an extra detail/final thought to finish the essay.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

The advent of smartphones has led to widespread internet addiction. Although this shift has its conveniences, it signals a decline in healthy activity.

Those who contend that the overall value of phones and the internet is a net positive can easily point to its versatility. The vast majority of people today would either reluctantly or enthusiastically admit they cannot live without their phones. If you are on a road trip or meeting a friend at a new cafe, you will need Google maps to find your way. The best method of booking a restaurant or researching online and offline businesses is through Facebook. All that only touches the surface of what the internet allows for ranging from sending emails, trading stocks online, posting on social media, to binge watching videos on streaming sites.

Despite the pile of advantages listed above, phones and the internet take up more time than they merit. The reason for this is that people get stuck in feedback loops, exchanging their time for momentary bursts of dopamine, no different from any other drug addict. Before the internet an individual might waste time watching television but still engage in a greater proportion of healthy habits like hanging out with friends, reading books, making art, exercising or taking up another worthwhile hobby. The healthy rush from those activities is chemically identical to scrolling through an algorithm mindlessly. The only distinction is that some distractions have more value in terms of physical and mental health than others.

In conclusion, the ubiquity of an internet living in your pocket has led to a decrease in engagement with healthy activities. In order to remedy this, people must take it on themselves to break their dependence as no government will ever regulate this drug properly.

Answers

advent start of

widespread ubiquitous

addiction can’t stop using/dependent on

shift change to

conveniences useful

signals is indicative of

contend argue

net positive overall good

easily point to not hard to argue that

versatility flexible

vast majority most of

reluctantly don’t want to

enthusiastically admit happy to say

cannot live without need

road trip holiday

Google maps app for finding where you’re going

find your way follow directions

booking a restaurant reserve a seat

offline businesses real world shop

touches the surface superficial

ranging from including

trading stocks online selling shares in companies

posting on social media sharing

binge watching watching multiple episodes in a row

streaming sites YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc.

pile list/stack up

take up occupy

merit deserve

stuck can’t escape

feedback loops addiction cycle

exchanging trading

momentary bursts small surges

dopamine neurochemical that makes you feel happy

drug addict user

waste time fritter away your life

engage in do/use

greater proportion large percentage of

taking up occupying

worthwhile hobby good use of time

healthy rush sense of accomplishment

chemically identical the same in terms of what you feel from it

scrolling looking through

algorithm mindlessly thoughtlessly scrolling through feeds

distinction what sets it apart

value what it is worth

ubiquity common

remedy fix

take it on themselves take responsibility

dependence rely on

regulate limit

properly correctly

Pronunciation

ˈædvənt 
ˈwaɪdsprɛd 
əˈdɪkʃ(ə)n
ʃɪft 
kənˈviːniənsɪz
ˈsɪgnlz 
kənˈtɛnd 
nɛt ˈpɒzətɪv 
ˈiːzɪli pɔɪnt tuː 
ˌvɜːsəˈtɪlɪti
vɑːst məˈʤɒrɪti 
rɪˈlʌktəntli 
ɪnˌθjuːzɪˈæstɪk(ə)li ədˈmɪt 
ˈkænɒt lɪv wɪˈðaʊt 
rəʊd trɪp 
ˈguːgəl mæps 
faɪnd jɔː weɪ
ˈbʊkɪŋ ə ˈrɛstrɒnt 
ˌɒfˈlaɪn ˈbɪznɪsɪz 
ˈtʌʧɪz ðə ˈsɜːfɪs 
ˈreɪnʤɪŋ frɒm 
ˈtreɪdɪŋ stɒks ˈɒnˌlaɪn
ˈpəʊstɪŋ ɒn ˈsəʊʃəl ˈmiːdiə
bɪnʤ ˈwɒʧɪŋ 
ˈstriːmɪŋ saɪts
paɪl 
teɪk ʌp 
ˈmɛrɪt
stʌk 
ˈfiːdbæk luːps
ɪksˈʧeɪnʤɪŋ 
ˈməʊməntəri bɜːsts 
dəʊpəmiːn
drʌg ˈædɪkt
weɪst taɪm 
ɪnˈgeɪʤ ɪn 
ˈgreɪtə prəˈpɔːʃən 
ˈteɪkɪŋ ʌp 
ˈwɜːθˈwaɪl ˈhɒbi
ˈhɛlθi rʌʃ 
ˈkɛmɪkəli aɪˈdɛntɪkəl 
ˈskrəʊlɪŋ
ˈælgərɪðm ˈmaɪndlɪsli
dɪsˈtɪŋkʃən 
ˈvæljuː 
ju(ː)ˈbɪkwɪti 
ˈrɛmɪdi 
teɪk ɪt ɒn ðəmˈsɛlvz 
dɪˈpɛndəns 
ˈrɛgjʊleɪt
ˈprɒpəli

Listen and repeat:

Vocabulary Practice

The a_____________ of smartphones has led to w_____________ internet a_____________. Although this s_____________ has its c_____________, it s_____________ a decline in healthy activity.

Those who c_____________ that the overall value of phones and the internet is a n_____________ can e_____________ its v_____________. The v_____________ of people today would either r_____________ or e_____________ they c_____________ their phones. If you are on a r_____________ or meeting a friend at a new cafe, you will need G_____________ to f_____________. The best method of b_____________ or researching online and o _____________ is through Facebook. All that only t_____________ of what the internet allows for r_____________ sending emails, t_____________, p _____________, to b_____________ videos on s_____________.

Despite the p_____________ of advantages listed above, phones and the internet t_____________ more time than they m_____________. The reason for this is that people get s_____________ in f_____________, e_____________ their time for m_____________ of d_____________, no different from any other d_____________. Before the internet an individual might w_____________ watching television but still e_____________ a g_____________ of healthy habits like hanging out with friends, reading books, making art, exercising or t_____________ another w _____________. The h _____________ from those activities is c_____________ to s_____________ through an a_____________. The only d_____________ is that some distractions have more v_____________ in terms of physical and mental health than others.

In conclusion, the u_____________ of an internet living in your pocket has led to a decrease in engagement with healthy activities. In order to r_____________ this, people must t_____________ to break their d_____________ as no government will ever r_____________ this drug p_____________.

Listen and check:

Listening Practice

Watch the video below to improve your listening. Some tips for how to listen are here:

Reading Practice

Read the article below and use these tips to improve your reading:

https://www.wired.com/story/wired-guide-to-internet-addiction/

Speaking Practice

Use the questions below from the real IELTS speaking test to practice about this topic:

Phones in Public

  1. Why do people talk on their phones on public transport?
  2. Is it common in your country?
  3. Is silence valued in your city?
  4. Why do some people have trouble staying silent?
  5. Is there too much noise from technology today?


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