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  • Rob: Hello, welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Rob.

  • Catherine: And I'm Catherine.

  • Rob: So, Catherine, how long do you spend

  • on your smartphone?

  • Catherine: My smartphone? Not that long

  • really, only about 18 or 19 hours.

  • Rob: No, sorry, I meant in a day, not in a week.

  • Catherine: Er, that's what I meant too, Rob – a day.

  • Rob: Oh wow, so you've even got it right here...

  • Catherine: …yep, got it now, Rob. Yes, I

  • should tell you that I suffer from FOMO.

  • Rob: FOMO?

  • Catherine: FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out.

  • Something cool or interesting might be

  • happening somewhere, Rob, and I want

  • to be sure I catch it, so I have to keep

  • checking my phone, to make sure,

  • you know, I don't miss out on anything.

  • Rob: So we could call you a phubber

  • Hello... I said, so you're a phubber?

  • Someone who ignores other people

  • because you'd rather look at

  • your phone.

  • Catherine: Oh, yeah, that's right.

  • Rob: It sounds like you have a bit of a

  • problem there, Catherine. But you're not

  • the only one. According to one recent

  • survey, half of teenagers in the USA feel

  • like they are addicted to their mobile

  • phones. If you are addicted

  • to something, you have a physical or

  • mental need to keep on doing it. You can't

  • stop doing it. You often hear about people

  • being addicted to drugs or alcohol, but

  • you can be addicted to other things too, like

  • mobile phones. So, Catherine, do you think

  • you're addicted to your phone? How long

  • could you go without it? Catherine?

  • Catherine!

  • Catherine: Sorry, Rob, yes, well I think if I

  • went more than a minute, I'd probably get

  • sort of sweaty palms and I think I'd start

  • feeling a bit panicky.

  • Rob: Oh dear! Well, if I can distract you just

  • for a few minutes, can we look at this topic

  • in more detail please? Let's start with a

  • quiz question first though. In what year

  • did the term 'smartphone' first appear in

  • print? Was it: a) 1995, b) 2000 or c) 2005.

  • What do you think?

  • Catherine: OK, you've got my full attention

  • now, Rob, and I think it's 2000 but actually

  • can I just have a quick look on my phone

  • to check the answer?

  • Rob: No, no, that would be cheatingfor

  • youmaybe not for the listeners.

  • Catherine: Spoilsport.

  • Rob: Right, Jean Twenge is a psychologist

  • who has written about the damage she

  • feels smartphones are doing to society.

  • She has written that smartphones have

  • probably led to an increase in mental

  • health problems for teenagers. We're

  • going to hear from her now, speaking to

  • the BBC. What does she say is one of the

  • dangers of using our phones?

  • Jean Twenge: I think everybody's had that

  • experience of reading their news feed too

  • much, compulsively checking your phone

  • if you're waiting for a text or getting really

  • into social media then kind of, looking up

  • and realising that an hour has passed.

  • Rob: So what danger does she mention?

  • Catherine: Well, she said that we can get

  • so involved in our phones that we don't

  • notice the time passing and when we

  • finally look up, we realise

  • that maybe an hour has gone.

  • And I must say, I find that to be true for

  • me, especially when I'm watching videos

  • online. They pull you in with more and

  • more videos and I've spent ages just

  • getting lost in video after video.

  • Rob: Well that's not a problem if you're

  • looking at our YouTube site of course,

  • there's lots to see there.

  • Catherine: Yes BBC Learning English, no

  • problem, you can watch as many as you like.

  • Rob: Well, she talks about checking our

  • phones compulsively. If you do something

  • compulsively you can't really control it - it's

  • a feature of being addicted to something,

  • you feel you have to do it again and again.

  • Some tech companies though are now

  • looking at building in timers to apps

  • which will warn us when we have spent

  • too long on them. Does Jean Twenge

  • think this will be a good idea?

  • Jean Twenge: It might mean that people

  • look at social media less frequently and

  • that they do what it really should be used

  • for, which is to keep in touch

  • with people but then put it away and go

  • see some of those people in person or

  • give them a phone call.

  • Rob: So, does she think it's a good idea?

  • Catherine: Well, she doesn't say so

  • directly, but we can guess from her

  • answer that she does, because

  • she says these timers will make people

  • spend more time in face-to-face

  • interaction, which a lot of people think

  • would be a good thing.

  • Rob: Yes, she said we should be using it

  • for keeping in touch with people - which

  • means contacting people, communicating

  • with them and also encouraging

  • us to do that communication in person. If

  • you do something in person then you

  • physically do ityou go somewhere

  • yourself or see someone yourself, you

  • don't do it online or through your

  • smartphone, which nicely brings

  • us back to our quiz question. When was

  • the term smartphone first used in print -

  • 1995, 2000 or 2005? What did you say,

  • Catherine?

  • Catherine: I think I said 2005, without

  • looking it up on my phone, Rob!

  • Rob: That's good to know but maybe

  • looking at your phone would have helped

  • because the answer was 1995. But well

  • done to anybody who did know that.

  • Catherine: Or well done to anyone who

  • looked it up on their phone and got the

  • right answer.

  • Rob: Mmm, right, before logging off let's

  • review today's vocabulary.

  • Catherine: OK, we had FOMO, an acronym

  • that means Fear Of Missing Out.

  • Something that I get quite a lot.

  • Rob: And that makes you also a phubber -

  • people who ignore the real people around

  • them because they are concentrating on

  • their phones.

  • Catherine: Yes, I do think I'm probably

  • addicted to my phone. I have a

  • psychological and physical need to have

  • it. My smartphone is my drug.

  • Rob: Wow, and you look at it

  • compulsively. You can't stop looking at it,

  • you do it again and again, don't you?

  • Catherine: It's sadly true, Rob. To keep in

  • touch with someone is to contact them

  • and share your news regularly.

  • Rob: And if you do that yourself by

  • actually meeting them, then you are doing

  • it in person. And that brings us to the end

  • of today's programme.

  • Don't forget you can find us on the usual

  • social media platformsFacebook,

  • Twitter, Instagram and YouTube - and on

  • our website at bbclearningenglish.com.

  • Bye for now.

  • Catherine: Bye!

Rob: Hello, welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Rob.

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A2 BEG UK catherine rob addicted phone fomo smartphone

Learn to talk about smartphone addiction in 6 minutes!

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    Evangeline   posted on 2018/07/13
Video vocabulary