Social Media
Do you like social media? Why? Why not? Which social media do you often use? Do you think your friends spend too much time on social media? Do you want to work in a social media company? What is the most popular form of social media in your country? Why?
  • Clickbait (noun) - articles, photographs, etc. on the internet that are intended to attract attention and encourage people to click on links to particular websites.
  • Reluctant (adj.) - not willing to do something and therefore slow to do it.
  • Audience (noun) - the (number of) people watching or listening to a particular television or radio programme, reading a particular book, or visiting a particular website.
  • Content (noun) - information, images, video, etc. that are included as part of something such as a website.
  • Glued to something (idiom) - giving something your full attention.
  • Millennial (noun) - born in the 1980s, 1990s, or early 2000s.
  • Self-obsessed (adj.) - only interested in yourself and your own activities.
  • Zoomer (noun) - a way of referring to a person who was born in the late 1990s or early 2000s.
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Questions and answers
M: Do you like social media?

R: I suppose if I'd been asked that this time last year, then I would say no, because I really don't, or I really didn't like it. But I've kind of come to appreciate it, with the exception of the kind of "clickbaity" content that's quite popular these days.

M: Which social media do you often use?

R: Well, it's hard to say since however reluctant I am, I'm on it constantly. However, if I didn't have a choice in the matter, I would probably say or I would have said Instagram, because, well, there's just... I have a wider audience on there. And there's greater variety in terms of content.

M: Do you think your friends spent too much time on social media?

R: Absolutely. They seem glued to their screens now, constantly answering their DMs. If I were there when they were designing these sites, I wouldn't have these issues now, since I'd have removed them all at the time.

M: Do you want to work in a social media company?

R: Well, I might have a job there now, if I hadn't been such a terrible student in my IT classes, to be honest with you. The concepts of coding and web development are a bit beyond me now, to be honest.

M: What's the most popular form of social media in your country?

R: There are different forms. I had absolutely no idea and I suppose I'd have been able to give a better answer if I'd had time to research it more, well, in greater depth. However, if we divide it by age group and interest, then Twitter's popular amongst politically minded adults and Instagram is popular for sort of content-obsessed millennials and then Tik Tok is popular amongst self-obsessed zoomers, probably.

M: Thank you, Rory, for your positive answers!

R: Oh, social media... It's a nightmare.
M: To give you a little bit of context, like two years ago Rory did not have an Instagram account. Rory didn't have Facebook. Rory didn't even know what YouTube was. So he was you know, like clueless. He was like from a cave.

R: Hey, hold on a minute. I knew what YouTube was. I just didn't post anything on there. And I still don't. I get Vanya to do all of that for me. Thank you, Vanya!

M: Rory, do you know what Tik Tok is?

R: It's something that crazy young people engage with and I have no idea about it at all. Even though we have a Tik Tok and you can find us there. How can you find us there? I don't know. Vanya is going to tell me now. Vanya, how can you do it? Okay, Vanya is telling me that anything I say, the link is always in the description. So look in the description for anything I say. Oh, that's true, actually, because the transcripts are linked in the description too. So now, there is no need to contact us directly on Instagram, or send us emails, you can find the links to that in the description as well.

M: Social media. Media. So it's plural. So social media are important, right?

R: No, social media is important. Well, it's not, it's frivolous and stupid. But it's always social media is.

M: What? Is? Wait, wait, wait. I've just opened a Wikipedia page and social media, social media are interactive technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas...

R: Well, that's wrong. Social media is a set of interactive technologies. And also, why are you on Wikipedia? Wikipedia is like the worst place to look for information on things.

M: Wait, but isn't media plural?

R: Well, it can be a plural form. But social media.

M: The term social media is both singular and plural in modern English usage.

R: Oh, good, in modern English usage when the language is a total disaster area.

M: The word media is traditionally a plural because medium is the singular.

R: I can just about guarantee you if you say social media are, the examiner is going to be like...
M: Really? Are you joking? So social media is?

R: Yeah. Because usually, we talk about social media as just one thing in general.

M: Alright. Dear listener, yeah. So social media could be is or are. Right? Again, in modern English. Rory is insisting that social media is.

R: Rory is insisting that it's is because he is correct.

M: Interesting. Okay? So let's just notice which verbs do we have with social media.

R: Let's notice and make the correct choice. Social media is.

M: Okay... Interesting... Alright... Yeah. Let us know in the comments. Have you ever seen social media and where have you seen it, okay?

R: And then tell Rory, he is right. Thank you.

M: I'd say I loathed it. That's another interesting word, which is easy to pronounce. Loathed it.

R: Loathed. I loathe it. I do not like it.

M: Do you really use this word? I loathe.

R: Yes. But you use it in specific circumstances when you're talking about something that you really, really don't like, and I really don't like social media.

M: Still?

R: I really didn't like it. And now I hate it less than I used to.

M: Okay, there we go.

R: So I would say I loathe it, in the past. And now I would say I just hate it.

M: Yeah, you can say I hated it, I disliked it, I used to hate it, or I loathed it. If you can pronounce it. Like loathe, loathed it.

R: That's a good pronunciation practice, though.

M: Clickbait videos. A clickbait. So if for example, our video is called...

R: Rory and Maria are shutting down the podcast.
M: Oh, yeah. Or like the secret of all secrets of band nine. Like the best strategy ever, I don't know. Or Rory grew wings. Rory is not Scottish. Yeah. So something like this, and you would go... And you would click on this video and you would watch it. And yeah, so clickbait. A clickbait video. We post content on Instagram. So it's the same as like I post content on Facebook, on Instagram, on Tik Tok. The preposition is always on, right?

R: Well, it should be. Yeah. And you post content on somewhere for an audience. And the audience are the people who view your content or the people that it's intended for.

M: Or you can say I saw it on Instagram, I saw it on Facebook, I saw it on Tik Tok.

R: But content is a nice specialist word.

M: Yes. I'm on it constantly. I'm constantly on Instagram. And Rory, most of the time you are constantly on Instagram, right? Or you go Facebook, Instagram, Facebook, Instagram.

R: No, it's almost always Instagram. So if people want to find me and talk to me get in touch on Instagram. I sound really sad about that. I like talking to people on Instagram. But some of the things I see on there. I'm like, oh, this is so stupid.

M: And what would you call a person who is always on Instagram? An Instagram freak?

R: Dead. Dead on the inside. That's what I would call them.

M: Don't listen to him. He's, you know, he's old school. Rory is like, you know, old school.

R: What would I call them? It'd probably be like, I don't know, an Instagram addict. Maybe?

M: Instagram addicts, right? So people are addicted to social media, addicted to Instagram, addicted to Facebook. So yeah, Instagram addicts or Facebook addicts. We spend too much time on social media. Again, spend time on Instagram, on Facebook, scrolling back and forth. And you've used a nice one. People seem glued to their screens. So your screen and you're glued.

R: Oh my god, is that idiomatic language for a high score?

M: Band nine score.

R: Yes, it's idiomatic language, which is good for you. To be glued to the screen. Yeah? Not literally glued.

R: Not with glue, with eyes.
M: DMs. We answer our DMs sometimes. Yeah?

R: Our direct messages.

M: Look at you, Rory, you're using abbreviations. Fancy. Ooh, fancy, and modern. Wow.

R: But that's just another way of saying someone's chatting to you online. I mean, I know people are like, oh, direct messages, that's when people contact you directly. It's like, yeah, it's a chat function, they'd just given it a different name to sell it to people.

M: And now for this mixed conditional. Rory, I'm actually afraid to ask you about this.

R: I'm afraid that you ask me about it too, to be honest with you.

M: Okay, if we look at an example that you gave us here. If I had been there, when they were designing social media websites, I wouldn't have these issues. Oh, my God, since I'd have removed the option. No, I'm not discussing this.

R: So, we're talking about something in the past, which I didn't have control of in order to talk about the future consequences, which I am experiencing now, that I wouldn't have if the situation had not happened.

M: No, it doesn't make any sense. No, it's not easy. I don't understand. Okay. Dear listener, if it's a bit beyond you, if you don't understand anything, don't use mixed conditionals. They're quite clumsy. They're bulky. They are difficult. And it's you know, because...

R: But they are amazing for getting a band nine score. So let's look at this, because I've typed it out here. So listen, if I had been or if I'd been there, when they were designing these sites, so a situation in the past, which had to happen because sites get designed in the past. Are we with me so far? Maria?

M: No.

R: No? Okay. I wasn't there, I wish I had been, but I was not. I wouldn't have these issues, these issues, being my friends, being glued to their screen now, because I would have removed the option to have direct messages. There we go.

M: Are you joking? Like seriously?

R: No.

M: Oh, boy, oh, boy. Dear listener, maybe it's... If kind of you are upper intermediate or you feel you are advanced. So your level is very high, right? Upper intermediate, advanced. You can go and google mixed conditionals in your own language, and read about them. And then come back, read our script and think about this, you know, difference in time. And then you can also ask questions in the comments. Okay? Mixed conditionals in the comments, let's have this mixed conditionals discussion in the comments, because I don't think I can...
R: Or contact Maria with your examples on Instagram, and she will answer them for you. She will check them, every single one.

M: Ah, ah, ah, mixed conditions.

R: Why do you not like mixed conditionals?

M: I think they're hard to use. And you should be kind of like, advanced, like truly advanced and you should be able to kind of understand it and use it just like that, you know.

R: Well, mixed conditionals are connecting the past to the future, or the past to the present or some variation of that.

M: Yeah, yeah. No, they are great to use. Alright? But I'm just feeling that our dear listener is sitting there and is going what? Yeah.

R: Whatever. I got it right. And it worked for me and I have band nine, so...

M: Yeah, aren't we awesome?

R: We are. Oh, look, there's another mixed conditional in the next example. Should we talk about the vocabulary first before you have another meltdown?

M: Yeah, yeah, okay. Just pull yourself together. Come on. Come on. I have my super rabbit. Alright. Pink, pink, pink, pink, pink. Alright, it's a pinky episode. Alright?

R: Vocabulary. Coding and web development are different aspects, not just of social media, but of websites in general. So you can apply these concepts to those areas too. So for example, if we talk about... Where was it? Web development. That's just the process of developing a website.

M: And you said that now it's beyond me. It's like, coding - no. This - no. So it's beyond me. It's like far too much for me. So I'm not gonna go into there. Yeah?

R: It's beyond me or it's alien to me, because it's something so strange, I just don't understand it. And I don't understand it. Which is why I grossly oversimplified web development there. I know web development is a really complex topic, but it's just it's a lot. And we only have like 20 minutes.

M: And we have our mixed conditional. So Rory said, I might have a job there. So there - in a social media company. I might have a job there now. Now, now, right? Now. If in the past, I hadn't been such a terrible student. In the past, at school, Rory at school, alright? So he was a terrible student. If he hadn't been a terrible student, he might get a job now. Oh my gosh, I'm explaining, and I feel how difficult this is. Yeah, so I might have a job now. I may have a job now. I could have a job now. Right? Present. If I hadn't been. Past Perfect. Because we're talking about a past.

R: So connecting possible present to possible past.
M: Okay. Are you okay, dear listener? Are you okay? Please say you're okay.

R: I'm okay, I'm doing great. What's wrong with you?

M: We have different forms of social media or different kinds of social media, right?

R: Apparently. You can see from my reaction that I was very surprised to learn this.

M: And then Rory told us about Tik Tok. You can mention your local social media. I don't know, Snapchat.

R: However, we can also... When we refer to social media, we can talk about different groups of people or different generations that engage in social media. So we have adults who are like the grown-ups, like proper grownups. And then we have the millennials who are just behind them in their 20s and 30s. Well, actually, I guess they're all the 30s and 40s now in fact. And the zoomers are just behind. They're like teenagers now.

M: And you can say that we can divide the forms of social media by age groups, right? So divide something by age groups. And then like politically minded people prefer this, right? Green-minded people prefer this. Green, yeah, like who are into environmentally friendly things. And you said that self-obsessed people?

R: Yeah, I'm really sorry, if you're under the age of 20. I've just called yourself obsessed. But really, their generation is extremely self-obsessed. I say this as if our generation is not. Like, we're pretty bad for this too. But that just means you're obsessed with yourself.

M: To be bothered to pay attention to social media. So if I bother to pay attention to something I kind of I...

R: You have the motivation to do it.

M: Yeah. Or you can say I don't bother with Instagram. I can't be bothered with social media. It's not my thing to post stuff every day. Right? Or it's my thing. Right? I really enjoy it. Yeah, I'm obsessed with Instagram. I'm a Facebook addict, right? A Tik Tok addict. "Tiktokholic". "Facebookholic". "Instagramholic". Like shopaholic, right? But yeah, I don't think these words exist, actually. We can, you know, be creative. And like, you know, I'm a bit of an "instagramholic". And look at the examiner like come on, like I'm kind of joking, you know.

R: But maybe in the exam it's not the best time to invent those words.

M: Yeah, yeah, we kind of play safe. Yeah? In the exam. Now, mixed conditionals, Rory. You did use mixed conditionals.

R: I used mixed conditionals. And Maria had to use all of her cognitive power to not have a breakdown while we talked about them.

M: So you said that, I suppose I would have been able to give a better answer, if I bothered to pay attention to them. Okay, and why not if I had bothered?
R: Why not indeed? You probably could have said that too.

M: Okay, that's a nice excuse. Okay, you can say this, you can say that.

R: What do you mean it's a nice excuse? I suppose if I had bothered would be like in the past, but if I bothered to pay attention to them would be like, I just don't do it in general now.

M: Oh, okay, okay. I see. So we have the third conditional. Three, conditional three. And the second. So we mix the third with the second. So I'd have been able, but I wasn't able in the past. If now I bothered, but I don't bother. Oh, my God.

R: It was like in the immediate past as well. Because it was like in the, like, five seconds previously, when you asked me the question. I was like, oh, there are? I have no idea. I suppose I'd have been able to give a better answer 10 seconds ago, if I'd bothered to pay attention. Like if I bothered to do it, like if I did it now. Or if I had done it previously in the past.

M: Okay, dear listener, please, bear with us. Alright? So this is like high-level stuff, like this is super high-level stuff.

R: It is not super high level.

M: Usually we don't give, you know, such depth and the mixed conditionals. But if you are on top of the world. Yeah, with your upper intermediate, advanced. And if you want to kind of move your grammar forward. You know, there, to band nine, you should really understand the mixed conditionals. Yeah, because this is advanced. This is C2 level, proficiency, not even advanced. Like proficiency level.

R: We talked about getting people to band nine and maybe for some of them this is the next step. Look at the good I do. Thank you. You're welcome.

M: Thank you, Rory, for supporting us with your mixed conditionals and with saying yeah, you can say this, you can say that, you know, it's just, choose.
R: Say whatever you like, it doesn't matter. It just must be correct.

M: I don't have a joke about social media. Sorry.

R: Social media is a joke. Get off of social media, get outside and like feel the grass underneath your feet for heaven's sake.

M: No, no, but why are you so negative about social media? Come on. This is like, why? What's your problem, Rory? It's our everyday world today. We are on Instagram.

R: Exactly. It is our everyday world today. It distracts us from the real world, from our friends and our family. It should be complementing life, not taking it over like it constantly is. So put the phone... Oh, wait, finish this video, then put the phone and then go outside.

M: It's also our business, like people do business, people make money because of social media.

R: I know, they do. But even I tell people who talk to me, like who want to be my students. I always say like, we're having the lesson for one hour. And then we're finishing the lesson. And I'm going outside because I'm not spending all day sat on a computer. Although, admittedly, that's teaching. It's not social media. But this is the reason why I only teach for an hour. And then I go and do something else. Because I'm not spending all day looking at the screen. No, that's silly. Have a life.

M: Dear listener, if you do want to spend the whole day looking at our faces, or our whatever we do, we have Telegram, we have Instagram, the links are in the description. You can go check it out, our Instagram, Facebook, Telegram accounts. And also on Telegram we have a group where you can find a speaking partner. Yeah, the link is in the description. So to practice your English with a person, you just go there, find a speaking partner, a speaking buddy. And talk to them. Yeah? Discuss Rory and how horrible he is.

R: And then go outside. Go into the real world.

M: Thank you very much for listening! Sending hugs and joy! If you do want to say thank you, you can make a donation, the link is in the description. And these donations help us to make these videos for free for you. So we're renting out this nice place. We're buying the equipment. So if you can donate something to us, we would be super grateful. The link is in the description.

R: See you next time. Bye!

M: Bye!
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