Form 5: IELTS Writing “Double Question” – Children and Smartphones

Some children spend hours every day on their smartphones. Why is this the case? Do you think this is a positive or a negative development?

(From IELTS Cambridge 17)



Some children and teenagers use their phones for hours each day. This, in my opinion, results from social media platforms’ exceptional ability to keep users’ attention. It should be viewed as a negative development because it can be harmful to children’s mental health.


Social media algorithms are extremely good at providing people with content that holds their attention. They track user behavior like search history and engagement and use machine learning to analyze the data gathered. This process allows them to offer users an endless stream of postings optimum to keep their interest. Since children tend to lack self-control, they may be unable to resist such personalized content and wind up wasting too much time on their phones.


Unfortunately, hours of phone time every day can be detrimental to children’s mental health. Perfectly filtered pictures and staged videos on social media create an unrealistic world for children scrolling through their feeds. Consuming too much content like this may make them unhappy with who they are. Consider the body image issues that Instagram has caused in teenage girls. After seeing post after post of fitness influencers who appear to have perfect lives and bodies, some adolescent girls may find it very difficult to restrain from comparing themselves to those influencers. It is not surprising that so many start worrying about their physical attractiveness.


In conclusion, some children spend a large amount of time on their phones every day because social media constantly presents them with content designed to keep their attention. Sadly, this can take a toll on their mental health.

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