Question: The development of mobiles phones means that we are able to receive phone calls for work or personal reasons almost anywhere and anytime. Do you think this is a positive or negative development for society and individuals?
Band 8+ Sample Answer:
(Intro) Ever since mobile phones first became widespread around twenty years ago, they have become increasingly indispensable, primarily enabling people to call each other, regardless of time and place. Although I believe that this is extremely convenient, especially in times of emergencies, it doesn’t outweigh the potential to disrupt our professional and personal lives. I will discuss both sides.
(Body 1) One obvious benefit of phone calls is being able to deal with emergencies. Mobile phones allow people to be reached instantly and directly, which facilitates the communication of urgent and important information. A good example of this would be a woman experiencing life threatening complications in childbirth. The mother to be can call the emergency services to arrange an ambulance, as well as contacting a specialist surgeon, who can then rush to the hospital to provide expert medical assistance. The woman’s partner can also be called to ensure they can be present at the birth.
(Body 2) However, there is a dark side to this convenience as phone calls can interrupt any moment. Those in positions of responsibility may feel under particular pressure to be available 24/7, even outside of working hours, which will clearly have a detrimental effect on the quality of their free time. In direct response to this, a law was recently passed in France which bans employees from being contacted after 6pm on work days. Even in the workplace, many companies now recommend that participants switch off their phones in meetings, because constant interruptions from phone calls are a distraction from the discussions taking place.
(Conclusion) In conclusion, mobile phones are as essential tool to help deal with an emergency, but I feel that of greater significance is the challenge they represent for achieving a good work-life balance, especially for those in management positions. To combat this issue there needs to be a change in corporate culture and, if necessary, passing legislation as in France. (315 words).
Words: Nick Kemp, former IELTS examiner.
Images: Pexels / Pixabay.