Pros and Cons of Social Media

Outline of the Conversation:

Ashok and Jaya are a brother and sister from Kolkata. Both are home for summer vacation and will soon begin their final year of college. The two get into an argument about social media after Jaya accuses Ashok of spending too much time on the Facebook socialnetworking website instead of with his family. During their conversation, they argue about the pros and cons of social media.

The Conversation:

Jaya: Ashok, would you like to go to the market with me to pick up some groceries for dinner. Mama and I are going to cook a special surprise tonight.

Ashok: I'm sorry, I can't. I need to finish updating my Facebook profile and reply to my friends' messages before dinner. You know how it is.

Jaya: No, I don't know how it is! I am not a social media fiend who spends all of my free time playing on Facebook. I have much better things to do!

Ashok: Relax Jaya, Why are you so upset all of a sudden?

Jaya: It's not all of a sudden! For the past week, I have seen you on Facebook at least three times a day. When I want to spend time with my brother, you always give the excuse of having to do something on that stupid website.

Ashok: We went to the movies yesterday, and if Facebook is so stupid, why do you use it?

Jaya: We went to the cinema but as soon as we returned, you chose to spend the evening with your other family, your Facebook family. I really wanted to discuss that excellent movie with you! We have not seen each other in months. And by the way, I keep my Facebook use to a minimum. For me, it's about reconnecting with old friends and professional networking.

Ashok: I'm sorry about last night Jaya. I did not mean to hurt your feelings. I don't want you to feel like I don't want to spend time with you. It's just that I'm in the middle of this great discussion about eastern and western political ideology with some friends and classmates. You should join.

Jaya: I don't want to join! I just want to have some family time with my brother. I wish you could see how addicted to Facebook you really are. Every single time I get on the site you are on the site. Every time I call you, you are on Facebook. You always seem to relate all of our conversations to something on Facebook. It's like you live a double life. Your family misses you Ashok! Please come back!

Ashok: Jaya, I think you are being a little extreme. I connect with old friends and do plenty of professional networking like you. But I also need to post my pictures. I receive plenty of positive comments about them. I'm a burgeoning photographer, so it's essential.

Jaya: That's great, but the back and forth commenting on pictures and status updates is a bit silly and immature for me. I rather spend my free time reading or watching a good Bengali film.

Ashok: Ok, but what about being able to express yourself and share important concerns within your community of friends?

Jaya: I understand the value in that, but you have to be careful. To be honest, I think Facebook is promoting an egoistic society. Everybody wants to chronicle their life details online as if they were valuable news accounts. And the comments bolster egos.

Ashok: I guess I can agree with that. I like to update my status, but not all the time. Besides photography, the only stuff I upload is links to useful websites and important articles that can help or influence my friends in a positive way.

Jaya: Your friends, yes of course! I think Facebook and other social media outlets have changed the definition of a friend. One of my classmates from school said that he deleted his Facebook account after a recent revelation.

Ashok: I wonder what that was.

Jaya: After surveying his friends page, he realized that all of his so called 'friends' were not really his friends. Most of them he had never met, and could not depend on for help, or share personal experiences with.

Ashok: I understand your point. I have many friends but I can gladly say that most of my Facebook friends are also my real-life friends. You know that I'm Mr. Popular, so it's only natural for people to want to become friends with me.

Jaya: Looks like someone is very proud of himself today. If you want to make your sister proud of you, come to the market with me. Come on, I'll treat you to a shake. I will not take no for an answer!

Ashok: Ok Jaya. You've won. I cannot say no to the best sister a boy could ever have!

Vocabulary:

Pros and cons - The various arguments in favour of and against something.

Minimum - Very small or slight in size or amount.

Networking - Talking with people whose jobs are similar to yours especially for business opportunities or advice.

Ideology - The set of ideas and beliefs of a group.

Burgeoning - To grow and develop quickly.

Egoistic - An exaggerated sense of self-importance.

Chronicle - To describe a series of events in the order that they happened.

Bolster - To make (something) stronger or better: to give support.

Revelation - Something that surprises you.

Outlet - A medium of expression or publication. 

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