Some Children Spend Hours Every Day on Their Smartphones

Some children spend hours every day on their smartphones.

Why is this the case? Do you think this is a positive or a negative development?

This essay question is from Cambridge IELTS 17 Test 2 Writing Task 2.

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Sample Essay

Some children and teenagers use their phones for hours each day. This, in my opinion, results from social media platforms’ exceptional ability to keep users’ attention. It should be viewed as a negative development because it can be harmful to children’s mental health.

Social media algorithms are extremely good at providing people with content that holds their attention. They track user behavior like search history and engagement and use machine learning to analyze the data gathered. This allows them to offer users an endless stream of postings optimized to keep their interest. Since children tend to lack self-control, they may be unable to resist such personalized content and wind up wasting too much time on their phones.

Unfortunately, hours of phone time every day can harm children’s mental health. Perfectly filtered pictures and staged videos on social media create an unrealistic world for children scrolling through their feeds. Consuming too much content like this may make them unhappy with who they are. Consider the body image issues that Instagram has caused in teenage girls. After seeing post after post of fitness influencers who appear to have perfect lives and bodies, some adolescent girls may find it very difficult to refrain from comparing themselves to those influencers. It is not surprising that so many start worrying about their physical attractiveness. 

In conclusion, some children spend a large amount of time on their phones every day because social media constantly presents them with content designed to keep their attention. Sadly, this can take a toll on their mental health. (257 Words)

Task Response

  • Why Is This the Case?

To score a 7 or higher, each body paragraph must have only one main topic. Therefore, I only wrote one reason in the second paragraph. If you want to give two reasons, separate them into two different paragraphs rather than including them in one single paragraph.

  • Do You Think This Is a Positive or a Negative Development?

Again, in order for each body paragraph to have only one main topic, it’s best to stick to one side. That is, we say it’s either a positive or a negative development.

How to Paraphrase Key Words

  • Children ➡ Children and Teenagers

In theory,  you will be a child until you’re 18. That is to say,  teenagers are still considered children. But in reality, no one would tell a 17-year-old learning to drive that he or she is a child. So, yes, teenagers are children but we wouldn’t call them children. So, “children and teenagers” is actually an improvement of the original. 

2 CommentsLeave A Comment

  1. Thank you, it was helpful, one question: what’s wrong with the paragraphs that represent more than one reason ? For example in this case, in the second body we can write: the results from increased smartphone usage are negative. Primarily ………secondly. …..

    1. Thanks for your question. No, definitely don’t do that. If you do that, you will be just listing points instead of fully developing your ideas. Please watch this video starting at 0:51.

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