Social media
Do you like using social media? When did you start using social media? Do you spend too much time on social media? What do you do on social media?
  • In touch (with someone) (idiom) - seeing someone or communicating with someone regularly.
  • Entitlement (noun) - the feeling that you have the right to do or have what you want without having to work for it or deserve it, just because of who you are.
  • To get ahold of (idiom) - to communicate with someone by phone.
  • Chat room (noun) - a part of the internet where people can communicate by writing messages to each other, often on a particular subject.
  • To be better off - to be in a better situation, if or after something happens.
  • To scroll (verb) - to move text or other information on a computer screen in order to see a different part of it..
  • Doomscrolling (noun) - the activity of spending a lot of time looking at your phone or computer and reading bad or negative news stories.
  • To browse (verb) - to look at information on the internet.
Get exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 1, 2, and 3
Get exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 1, 2, and 3
Questions and Answers
M: Do you like using social media?

R: I mean, I find it useful and efficient. But I wouldn't say I like it. For example, I use Telegram, WhatsApp and Facebook to stay in touch with people. But in general, it seems to create this bizarre sense of entitlement where people think that they should be able to get ahold of you whenever they want to. And I don't really like that part of it at all.

M: When did you start using social media?

R: Well, probably when I was a teenager. And I was using sites like MySpace and, well, chat rooms on MSN. But I think I only really became a serious user in, what, the early 2020s? And that's when I started to use things like Instagram to make social media posts in order to promote things.

M: Do you spend too much time on social media?

R: Well, I mean, who decides what too much means? There are probably times when I'm on it, and I would be better off doing other things, or I couldn't be better off doing other things. But I mean, rarely am I just sitting there scrolling through Reels on Instagram for hours on end or just doomscrolling Twitter. So I suppose it's not as bad as other people. There are times when I can get distracted but I've got some very forgiving friends. So it's not such a big deal for me.

M: What do you do on social media?

R: The same things as other people, really. I post updates and comment on things I find interesting. Although, I think most of the time I'm just browsing and replying to messages. So I'm probably not as active a user as other people in that regard.
M: Social media, dear listener. We mean Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, YouTube. Alright? Whatever you have, these are all like social media platforms, okay? They are useful and efficient. So they are kind of like efficient. You write a message and it's sent right away. Okay? And your friend reads it. Like efficient. Yeah, chop, chop, chop. And we use social media to stay in touch with friends. So to stay in touch? To stay in contact, to kind of like to talk to them. So stay in touch with my friends, my relatives, and random strangers.

R: You stay in touch with random strangers?

M: Well, on social media, you know? Just like, you don't know this person, but kind of you talk.

R: Oh yeah, there are lots of people like that. It's really weird now.

M: What preposition should we use with WhatsApp or Telegram or Instagram?

R: Well, it's on the internet. So it should be on WhatsApp or on Telegram. Not in.

M: So I stay in touch with my friends on Telegram, on WhatsApp, on Instagram. What did you mean by "bizarre sense of entitlement"?

R: Oh, I love that expression. I'm going to use it more, to be honest with you. So, well, a bizarre sense of entitlement just means it's an unusual feeling or right people think they have to do something. But it's not really normal. So in the case of social media, people have this bizarre sense of entitlement to your time, where if they send you a message, they expect a response immediately. This is not all people but they treat it like it's a conversation that they're having. So because they've sent you a message they expect one back, like you would have in a face-to-face conversation. But that's not how this works because, of course, people are busy. And they have things to do. And so they're not able to reply immediately. However, a lot of the time, sometimes people message each other, and they think they should get this reply, which is a very bizarre sense of entitlement.

M: Entitlement is negative. So disapproving, okay? It's a feeling that you have the right to do or to have something you want without doing any work, okay? It's just like possessiveness, maybe.

R: Yeah, it's funny though, because as a verb entitled just means something you have a right to. For example, like you're entitled to a lawyer in court in many countries. And that's not a negative thing, because you're defending yourself. So it's just this idea with the collocation, the bizarre sense of entitlement, or just a sense of entitlement, or even entitlement.

M: So people on social media feel that they can get a hold of you. So they can just like reach you at any time during the day or night. And you have to respond, okay?

R: Yeah.

M: People can get a hold of you, like at any moment.

R: It's very funny, especially when someone contacts you from the other side of the world. And they're like, why are you not replying to me? And the answer is usually, well, I'm unconscious because I'm asleep. So it's not always possible.

M: I started using social media last year, when I was at school, or you can say that I used to use chat rooms. Rory mentioned stuff like MySpace and MSN.

R: Did you have MySpace, Maria?

M: No.
R: No, I think it's a uniquely Western phenomenon, especially in the youth of many millennial people. So MySpace was just a precursor or something that came before Facebook. And lots of teenagers were on there creating their own profiles and things like that.

M: I became a serious user, like the user of social media. I became a serious user 10 years ago. Yeah? And I started using Facebook, Instagram, for example. Or I started posting things on Facebook, and Instagram. So started doing something and you post things on Instagram or Facebook. If the examiner asks you a question about do you spend too much time? Or do you do something too much? You can use Rory's strategy. Rory goes, who decides what too much means? So what does it mean too much? You know, too much for me is different too much for you, dear listener. And too much for Rory we don't know. Like, how much is too much for Rory? Do you understand?

R: I understand. But does everyone else understand? That's the key thing. But yeah, too much is a very subjective thing. It's down to your personal experience of the world. I mean, I don't know what people might say that I eat too much meat, for example, but I like to eat meat. So it's not too much for me. Same thing for social media.

M: And the question is like, do you spend too much time on social media? And you answered, I'm on it. "On it" refers to social media, right? So media is it?

R: Or I'm on the app anyway. But the idea is that you're using it.

M: And sometimes I would be better off doing something else. That's a very nice phrase. So I would be better off studying or I would be better off working, or I would be better off doing sports.

R: And why is it doing after the phrase? This is super important, especially if you want to score over a band six on your IELTS.

M: I don't know. Goodbye!

R: It's a preposition. So usually when you have the preposition, it's the -ing form. Do you not remember this?

M: Oh, really?

R: Yeah.

M: Ah, okay. So it's kind of like "I gave up overeating". Or I took up doing yoga. Okay. But yeah, but not always after prepositions you use -ing.

R: Not always, but usually.

M: Very often. Okay, okay. Sweet. Social media could be a distraction. Okay? A popular distraction, to get distracted. Okay? From your boredom. When you feel bored, you should get distracted. And you sit there scrolling, dear listener. So you scroll through Instagram.

R: So you just like sit there on your phone doing that. I can't show you this with a phone because I'm looking at my phone now.

M: Yeah, you just scroll with your finger.

R: Well, your thumb.

M: With your thumb. Yeah. With your like...

R: Or in Russian, your big thumb. Your big finger, sorry.
M: Yeah. So I just sit there doing something. I just sit there scrolling through Reels on Instagram. Or just like I sit there scrolling through Instagram posts. And also, Rory, you said doomscrolling. What's doomscrolling?

R: Doomscrolling is a thing. And it's where you sit, usually on Twitter, and you just look through all the bad news and become slowly more and more depressed about how horrible the world is. So yes, doomscrolling is a bad habit, but just continuing to scroll, binge scrolling, possibly, on Instagram. Not a good thing to do.

M: Yeah, actually doomscrolling is on the Cambridge online dictionary. So doomscrolling, humorous. Humour, you know? The activity of spending a lot of time looking at your phone. Okay, dear listener? Or computer, or reading bad and negative stories. So doomscrolling for two hours every day won't help you to become happy, for example.

R: No. But what will - scrolling through our Instagram, for sure.

M: And you can say that sometimes I keep scrolling for hours on end. Hours on end? A long time.

R: I did that once. I was just lying on my bed. And I was looking at my phone like, oh, it's so nice just to look through all the... All the Reels on Instagram. And I think I did that for like one hour. And I have to say, it was the... I felt terrible afterwards, I did not feel productive at all.

M: Could you use a sentence with doomscrolling and hours on end?

R: Well, you can scroll through Instagram for hours on end. But you could also... Oh, if you like reading, like I could read books for hours on end if I had the time. Or I can play video games for hours on end. And I do. And that's not good.

M: I can watch Reels on Instagram for hours on end. Like for a long time.

R: What could you do for hours on end?

M: Cook.

R: Really? That sounds like a lot of work.

M: Yeah, that's why... It takes a lot of time as well. You know, like you buy the ingredients, and then you kind of you look for a recipe and then kind of you design the menu and then you cook and then you eat. And then you wash and clean forever.

R: Maria is getting very excited about this. But when I, when I think about cooking, I think, oh, God, how can I make this take the lowest amount of time possible?

M: People do a lot of things on social media. Okay? So what do you do on social media, dear listener? Well, I...

R: Be social.

M: Yeah. I post updates, I post pictures, and I comment on different things. So comment on things. Okay? I share funny memes. I search for contacts, I look at profiles. Okay? I share and post videos. Alright? I discover interesting events, dear listener, alright? Also, I fill my spare time. Just kill the time. And I tackle boredom. So you deal with your boredom on social media. Also, you can say that I watch live streams when people kind of like talk to you live. Live streams. Or I just browse and reply to messages. So you kind of like scroll, yeah? Do some doomscrolling and reply to messages.

R: Maybe not necessarily doomscrolling. Sometimes I just look through Instagram and then I'll see I have a message.

M: You can say I'm an active user, or I'm not an active user. So I don't use social media actively, like all the time. Or you can say I'm addicted to... I use social media all the time. I'm addicted to social media. Could you let us know what you do on social media? Just write in the comments. Okay? Oh, Rory, I have my favourite joke. Which social media platform do vegans dislike the most? Google meet. Google Meet...

R: Sorry, all vegans, really. Ehm...

M: Come on, it's funny. I'm sorry if you're a vegetarian but come on, it's funny. Yeah? So vegans dislike Google Meet. Google Meet.

R: Stop it.
Make sure to subscribe to our social media to see some of the “behind the scenes” stuff!

Our Instagram:
Our Telegram:
Get exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 1, 2, and 3
Get exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 1, 2, and 3
Did you like this episode?
Show more
Study with us