IB A2 ENGLISH
Our media kind of life
Mr. Paul Bougie
Collège Laflèche, Trois-Rivières
September 18th 2010
f Facebook were a country, it would now be the third most populous in the world. Some find it extraordinary to have access to social networks and to keep in touch with people from anywhere in the world, while others will be disgusted by the“virtual” relationship effect created by those sites. These days, one of the most popular social network site is Facebook, created six years ago. The most recent statistics reveal that there are now more than 400 million active users on Facebook and what is even more interesting is that the average user spends more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook, which amounts to 20 075 minutes per year. Thenumbers are alarming, but it’s not all black or white. There are some positive sides to it too. This essay isn’t a warning against nor an advertisement to promote media use, but it’s a way of trying to make you realize what the real facts are and it’s also meant for you to think about your personal use. What is responsible media consumption and what are the effects of media use ? These are the mainquestions that I will be developping and I will use myself as an example to accentuate the accuracy of my sayings.
Whatever you do, use or say, if it’s done wisely, there won’t be any complications. This is valid for almost everything in life, including media use. Being reponsible about media use is using it in a sensible way, which implies that there is no exaggeration and a pretty good dose ofjudgement. Spending more time in front of a screen than with actual people is exageration. Thinking that everything they say on television or write in the newspapers is true also shows a lack of judgment. Having easy access to media is one of the greatest particularities of the 21st century. Critics about media might be frequent, but media itself is fantastic and the bad side of it is due to theperson who uses it. There is no specific recipe to being reponsible with your media consumption but there are certain signs that indicate whether you have an issue with media use or not.
People use media for a variety of reasons, including work, study, and entertainment. It is okay to use media as a source of distraction, but it shoudn’t replace people or other hobbies. Media shouldn’t take toomuch of your time. The average American family spends about 8 hours 11 minutes a day watching television. This amount of time represents about 33% of the day, and this is way too much. When you feel like media is the only thing that matters and that without you cell phone or computer, you’d be lost, there is a problem. On the other hand, if you see media as a useful tool and a good way toentertain yourself, then, you’re on the right track. It all comes back to judgment and exaggeration.
Media use certainly has great effects on the world. It has positive effects on my life and myself too. My school assignments are higher in quality because of the Internet and computers. When I’m studying, I often need some specifications on certain points and I use the Internet as a fast way to getanswers. My cell phone follows me almost everywhere and I consider it’s a good thing because I can keep in touch with my family and friends anywhere I go. I could write a hundred sentences about the good sides of media use in my life but I don’t need to do that because I am very thankful to have an easy access to the media world. I don’t have serious issues with media use and I only see advantageswhen I think about it. Like I said earlier, the bad sides of media use come with excessive use. For example, someone who spends half his day on Facebook certainly has social life problems. To some people, social networks are the « real life ». These people build themselves a virtual world in which they feel better than in the real world. The relationships you have on the Internet will never be...