Ten years ago, everybody was getting home after work to a fixed answerphone and nobody ever left a message. Now, everywhere you look – on trains, on buses, in shopping centres, in restaurants, at wedding receptions – what a miracle! What a transformation! So many people talking away into their mobile phones. Connected at last!
However, on some special occasions, from just a meeting of two friends to a funeral, mobile phones can be the enemy. They mean that people are not joining in, they’re imposing, they’re disrupting. It would have been better if they’d brought a book with them, which they could get with quietly in a corner. SWITCH THEM OFF. Liberate yourself. The missed call won’t be someone saying your house has burnt down. If you can’t control yourself, “check” your phone out of sight of the others, in the toilets, perhaps.
It’s perfectly obvious – but how often does it happen? – if you really have to either make or receive an urgent call during a social occasion, you should explain the situation to the others at the outset. When the time comes, remove yourself from the scene to deal with the call. Whatever you do, apologise.
And now, here is an appeal to the good, too-silent majority. Don’t put up with it. Don’t suffer in silence. If you come across some rude mobile phone addicts, don’t hesitate to interrupt and ask them to move away, to switch off. If they are passengers in your car, stop, ask them to get out, especially if it’s raining.
I. READING COMPREHENSION
1. Are the following TRUE or FALSE? Copy the evidence form the text. No marks are given for only TRUE or FALSE.
a. Nowadays a lot of people seem to enjoy using the mobile phone.
- TRUE Now, everywhere you look – on trains, on buses, in shopping centres, in restaurants, at wedding receptions – what a miracle! What a transformation! So many people talking away into their mobile phones.
b. The text suggests that it is advisable to inform the other members of the group when you are expecting an important call.
- TRUE: if you really have to either make or receive an urgent call during a social occasion, you should explain the situation to the others at the outset.
2. In your own words and based on the ideas in the text, answer the following questions.
a. Why is the use of mobile phones sometimes seen as antisocial behaviour?
- According to the text, there are some social events, such as a funeral, where the use of a mobile phone is inappropriate as it is an imposing and interrupting element for those people which are not part of the conversation. (PAR.2)
b. What does the text recommend doing about inconsiderate mobile phone users?
- The text recommends us not to put up with those people who use their mobile phones inconsiderately and so ask them to move away when they receive a call or even tell them to switch off their mobile phones. (PAR.4)
II. USE OF ENGLISH
3. Find the words in the text that mean:
- a. maybe (paragraph 2): perhaps
- b. beginning (paragraph 3): outset
- c. say sorry (paragraph 3): apologise
- d. encounter (paragraph 4): come across
4. Complete the following sentences. Use the appropriate form of the word in brackets when given.
- a. The link between using (use) a mobile phone when driving and road accidents is well established and this is applied (apply) to all kinds of phones, including hands-free.
- b. More technological advances have been (be) made in the last fifty years than in all previous centuries.
- c. Charles, who is a mobile phone addict, can’t stand being away from his phone.
Complete the following sentence to report what was said.
- d. “Is there a mobile phone in your bag?” > I asked the girl if / whether there was a mobile phone in her bag.
III. WRITING5. Write about 100 to 150 words on one of the following topics.
- a. Some people believe that children under the age of 13 should not have mobile phones. What do you think? Discuss.
- b. Describe an unusual personal experience you have had that involved a mobile phone.