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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Advanced Spoken English Class #3 | Topic: Social media | IELTS Speaking, Fluency, Vocab, Listening

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Hello and welcome back.

This is episode three in our advanced spoken English series.

As you know these lessons are designed to help you take your English to the next level.

The topic of this lesson is social media.

You will hear a conversation; it's about six minutes long.

After the conversation ends we will go through the script of the conversation and I will

teach you useful vocabulary words and expressions, so let's begin.

Lets talk about social media.

Do you use social media?

I use YouTube.

I use Facebook too but not as much.

Ive tried Twitter in the past, but I never got the hang of it.

Im not really big on social media generally, aside from YouTube, which I use a lot, both

for watching videos and for publishing my own like this one.

You just mentioned YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Why are these sites called social media?

Well, the key word is social.

Because these sites are all about people sharing information.

I would say that thats the defining feature of social media.

And the term social media is used in contrast to traditional media where the viewer or the

listener is only a passive recipient; information is presented to us and we passively consume

it, and if we want to share that, if we see something on television and we want to share

that with somebody, we have to either call them up or tell them in person.

But on a site like Facebook, if you see something interesting, you can immediately engage with

it on the platform itselfyou comment on it, like it, share it, and if you share

it, that gets pushed out to all your friends.

Obviously, you cant do that with your television or a newspaper.

So social media sites are driven by people sharing information.

Why do people use social media?

I think the social element is itself the primary motivation for people.

Because its a basic urge for human beings to seek attention from others.

And social media takes advantage of that very well.

When we share something, say even a selfie, these algorithms are designed to push that

out to all of our contacts and generate likes and positive comments.

When that happens, we get a temporary boost of self-esteem.

But then that fades quickly, so you have to post another selfie or share something else.

That keeps us coming back; its a form of instant gratification.

I dont know that thats a good thing.

But thats what makes social media so addictive in my opinion.

It sounds like youre saying social media is a bad thing.

No, not necessarily.

There are advantages.

For one, it allows us to stay in touch with people in our social circle.

We can let people know about the good things that are happening in our lives.

In a world where were so strapped for time that we hardly ever get to meet up with friends

or relatives, social media allows us to stay in touch with them.

And its not uncommon to run into old friends on Facebook from way back and reconnect with

them.

And then look at what YouTube has accomplished.

For many people, it has completely replaced the television.

And more than that, I think its just astounding how much learning material is available free

of charge on the site, and its nothing short of revolutionaryyou can learn anything

you want on demand, free of cost watching videos.

And of course, I make videos myself, so it helps people like me (I guess the term for

that is creators), it helps independent creators connect with their potential audience.

That would have been almost impossible before the advent of social media.

Do you think social media is good for children?

No, I dont, and I say that with apologies to my young viewers.

I think theres a reason why social media sites have a minimum age requirement to have

an account on their site.

Because there are inherent risks involved for children in using platforms where they

can come into contact with strangers.

When we were growing up, our parents used to tell us not to talk to strangers, but that

rule is not easy to enforce when your child can be interacting with random people on an

electronic device.

Beyond that, I think the bigger problem is that children can be exposed to unfiltered

material on social media.

See, if my child was watching television, as the parent I would know that the content

that theyre exposed to is going to be curated to some extent.

But on social media, people can say what they want, post what they want, share what they

want, and children (including teenagers) often lack the judgment to know that something is

inappropriate; that certain types of behavior or language or ways of saying things are not

acceptable in society.

So, I dont think children ought to be using social media, honestly.

Does social media also have negative effects on society as a whole?

See, I dont want to be seen as bashing social media here.

But, it certainly has negative effects on society that we cannot ignore.

One is that its often a tremendous waste of time.

The fact that social media apps are so easily accessible on mobile devices means that whenever

people are bored, they can just open up Facebook or YouTube and get their dose of instant gratification,

and they dont have to make the effort to socialize with human beings in real life,

or pick up a book and learn something.

And then like I said before, some of the content that goes viral on social media is just not

of the positive kind; a lot of stuff that I see is offensive and obnoxious, or even

things that are plainly false.

Its really easy to spread false information, fake news via social media.

And the lack of accountability I think also tends to bring out the worst in people sometimes.

But for all its flaws, I believe the advantages that I mentioned before certainly do outweigh

the disadvantages.

So, the important thing is to view social media as something that can add value to our

lives and to seek out positive experiences while being wary of the negatives.

OK, thank you very much.

Thank you.

OK here we are with the script of the conversation that you just heard now we're going to go

through the script and learn some useful vocabulary but before we do that you will find a link

in the description to this document you can download the document from that link when

you do you will find the complete transcript of the conversation and if you scroll down

you will see a list of all the vocabulary items that we discuss here along with their

meanings there are a total of 30 items alright let's go back to the top and let's start discussing

the vocabulary the first item is over here I said I've tried Twitter in the past but

I never got the hang of it to get the hang of something means to learn how to do something

or to get used to something so I'm saying here that I tried Twitter but I never got

used to it I never got comfortable with it so I never got the hang of it and then I'm

not really big on social media generally not big on he's an idiom and it means that you're

not very interested in something like if I say I'm not big on classical music that means

I'm not really interested in classical music so I'm saying here that I'm not greatly interested

I'm not really into social media OK and then there was a question here why are these sites

called social media YouTube and Facebook and so on and I said well the key word is social

the keyword means the important word in a phrase or in a term so in the term social

media I'm saying the important word is social and that's because these sites are all about

people sharing information the phrase all about it's a common expression and it's used

to indicate the focus or the most important aspect of something so social media sites

are all about people sharing information meaning that that is the focus of these websites I

would say that that's the defining feature of social media defining feature means the

most important feature that feature which gives something its definition so the defining

feature of social media is people sharing information and the term social media is used

in contrast to that is in opposition to traditional media where the listener or the viewer is

only a passive recipient the word recipient means a person who receives and passive is

the opposite of active so a passive recipient is a person who sits there and receives information

without doing anything actively and if you think about it that's how it is when we watch

television we sit there we get all that information but we don't actively engage with it and if

you see something on TV and you want to share that with somebody you have to either call

them up or tell them in person the phrase in person means being physically present face-to-face

okay not via email or not through some other indirect method now on a site like Facebook

however if you see something interesting you can immediately like it share it and so on

and then that will get pushed out to all of your friends all your friends will see it

but you can't do that with a TV or with a newspaper so social media sites are driven

by people sharing information driven by means operated by you can think about it as showing

the source of power to make something happen now if I say electric cars are driven by electricity

that means the source of electric cars is electricity so the source of power for social

media is when people share things the next question was why do people use social media

and I said it's the social element itself because it's a basic urge for human beings

to seek attention from others an urge is a strong desire especially a desire that you

cannot control so to seek attention seek attention means to act in a way that makes other people

notice us to do that is a basic urge that we all share as human beings and social media

takes advantage of that urge that we have because when we share something that might

get lots of likes and positive comments when that happens we get a temporary boost of self-esteem

self-esteem means self-respect or self-confidence so lots of people are liking or sharing your

selfie you feel good about it that's a temporary boost of self-esteem but that doesn't last

it fades quickly so you have to keep sharing things that keeps us coming back and that's

a form of instant gratification this is a popular expression that you will see in many

contexts instant gratification means immediate satisfaction but it's the kind of satisfaction

that you get from say eating something sweet or playing video games because that satisfaction

does not last it goes away quickly which is why it's not satisfying for a long period

of time so instant means immediate and gratification means satisfaction instant gratification is

immediate satisfaction okay the next item is not necessarily so the interviewer said

it sounds like you're saying social media is a bad thing I said no not necessarily meaning

that's not what I'm saying this is just a fancy expression that you can use if you take

not necessarily because there are advantages for one for one is an expression that is used

to introduce one reason for example it's like this is just one reason and I'm talking here

about an advantage the advantages it allows us to stay in touch with people in our social

circle in a world where we're so strapped for time strapped for means short of something

or not having enough of something if I say I'm strapped for cash that means I don't have

enough cash or as in this example I said we're strapped for time meaning we don't have enough

time we're so strapped for time that we hardly ever hardly ever means almost never very rarely

we hardly ever get to meet up with friends or relatives social media allows us to stay

in touch with them and it's not uncommon to run into old friends on Facebook run into

means to meet somebody unexpectedly so I'm saying that it's common to meet old friends

on Facebook from like your high school and that's what this expression means from way

back from way back means from a long time ago it's not uncommon to run into old friends

on Facebook from way back and reconnect with them and then I talked about how YouTube has

accomplished a great deal for education I said I think it's just astounding how much

learning material is available free of charge astounding means very surprising and it's

often used with victory or success somebody could have had an astounding victory or astounding

success and that's what I'm talking about here with reference to YouTube I think it's

astounding how much learning material is available free of charge and it's nothing short of revolutionary

nothing short of means almost equal so I'm saying that what YouTube has done for education

is almost equal to a revolution in the field of education you can learn almost anything

you want just watching videos on YouTube and then I said that I watch videos myself so

it helps independent creators like me connect with their potential audience that would have

been almost impossible before the advent of social media the word advent means the time

when something begins it's commonly used with technology before the advent of the internet

or before the advent of cell phones so I'm saying here that before social media came

into existence independent creators would have found it difficult to connect with their

potential audience the next question was do you think social media is good for children

and my answer was no I don't think so and one of the reasons is that there are inherent

risks involved for children in using platforms where they can come into contact with strangers

come into contact with means strangers can contact children children can contact strangers

and that's unsafe another problem perhaps the bigger problem is that children can be

exposed to unfiltered material on social media if your child was watching TV you would know

that some I would be controlling you know what kinds of TV shows or movies were shown

on a channel and that's what the word to curate means to curate means to select something

carefully okay for publication for example music or movies or TV shows a person who curates

content is called a curator by the way a person who manages a museum is also called a curator

now on social media nobody curates the content people can say or post whatever they want

and children often lack the judgment to know that something is inappropriate the word judgment

and I should point out that this spelling j-u-d-g-m-e-n-t is American with an E that's

British spelling that's used in the United Kingdom so anyway children often lack the

judgment to know that something is inappropriate here the word judgment refers to the ability

to make good decisions so I'm saying that when children watch or hear things on social

media they don't have the judgment they don't have the world experience to be able to tell

that certain behaviors or certain types of language are not appropriate that they're

not acceptable in society so that's why I say children often lack the judgment and that's

why I don't think children ought to be using social media the next question was what about

society as a whole and not just children the social media have negative effects on society

and I said I don't want to be seen as bashing social media here to bash means to criticize

harshly so I'm saying I'm not trying to criticize social media harshly and say only bad things

about it but there are negative effects and we cannot ignore them the fact that we all

have cell phones that we have YouTube and Facebook on those cell phones means that people

can just open up one of these social media apps and get their dose of instant gratification

do you remember what instant gratification means it means immediate satisfaction to get

their dose of means to get something that you need as if you're just medicine so people

can just open up a social media app and browse and get some instant gratification and then

move on so because of that they don't have to socialize and that word you will see over

here to socialize means to spend time with other people in a fun way now hanging out

with friends or going and meeting your relatives people don't have to do that nowadays because

of social media apps they don't have to pick up a book and learn something and also there's

another disadvantage to social media a lot of the stuff that goes viral is not positive

some of it is offensive some of it is just obnoxious this word is pronounced obnoxious

and it means very unpleasant we often talk about obnoxious content or an obnoxious person

or a person's obnoxious behavior in all of these uses it means unpleasant so there's

a lot of stuff that's obnoxious or even plainly false plainly false means just simply false

fake news it's really easy to spread fake news on social media and there's a lack of

accountability accountability means responsibility for one's actions or behavior so if I'm accountable

to my boss that means I have to answer to my boss I have to explain my actions to my

boss if I do something wrong my boss might ask me to explain why I did that and he or

she would be accountable to his or her boss but on social media there's there's no accountability

and that lack of accountability tends to bring out the worst in people sometimes that means

to make people show their worst qualities okay it brings out the worst from inside of

people but for all its flaws the word flaw means a fault or a weakness or a disadvantage

so what this means is for all its flaws is a fixed expression and it means even though

something has disadvantages even though social media has flaws the advantages certainly outweigh

the disadvantages so we have to view social media as something that can add value to our

life something that can good things to our lives but we should also be wearing of the

negatives wary of means being careful or cautious in order to avoid danger so we have to be

wary of the negatives but we can always enjoy the positives that social media has to offer

alright that's the end of this lesson remember to go and download this document and I want

to encourage you to go and listen to this conversation once again rewind the video the

video go to the beginning and as you listen a lot of these words that you just heard will

jump out at you and that's a really good way to reinforce vocabulary repetition is the

best way to learn vocabulary alright I hope you enjoyed this lesson I will see you in

another lesson soon and as always happy learning

The Description of Advanced Spoken English Class #3 | Topic: Social media | IELTS Speaking, Fluency, Vocab, Listening