AO3 Q3: ‘IT’S SO OVER: COOL CYBERKIDS ABANDON SOCIAL NETWROKING SITES’ & ‘SOCIAL WEBSITES HARM CHILDREN’S BRAINS’ BY MOHSIN RAZA

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  1. How do the writers of both passages present the ‘explosion’ of the cyber world? Compare the language, style, and context of both passages using close references.

The first passage has the title ‘it’s so over: cool cyber kids abandon social networking sites’ and is from the newspaper called ‘The Guardian’. The second passage is entitled ‘Social websites ham children’s brains’ and is taken from the newspaper known as ‘Mail Online’.

The content of passage one is about how many adults are becoming more active social networking sites, perhaps even more than some of the youngsters. This is evident when “15 to 24 year olds have now been over-run by 25 to 34 year olds.” However the content of passage two, though also on social websites, is about the harmful effects of social media on children; how day to day usage of social websites affects youngsters in their day to day lives. This is apparent when “social networking websites are causing alarming changes in the brains of young users.” The intended effect in passage one is to appeal to the general sense and grab the reader’s attention on the present day situation of social media. The intended effect of passage two is to evoke strong emotional responses from the reader by telling them about the harms of social media towards children.

The purpose of both passage one and passage two is informative. In passage one, the author informs the reader of the sudden drop of youngsters and increase of older people online on social networking sites. This is illustrated by, for young people, “percentage of 15 to 24 year olds” and “has dropped for first time” as well as “55% at the start of last year to 50% this year”. For older people “46% of 25 to 34 year olds are now regularly checking up” and “compared to 40% last year”. This backs up the author’s point of view neatly and positions the reader to agree as well. In passage two the writer informs the readers about how using social websites tend to affect the children’s brains and what harmful effects these cause. This is demonstrated by “sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Bebo are said to shorten attention spans.” The writer tells that one of the harmful effects is shortage of attention spans. The intended effect of this passage is also to spread awareness but about the harmful effects of social media.

The intended audience of passage one are young adults and newspaper readers. The writer captures young adults’ attention by telling them of the current situation of social media usage between adults and youngsters. This is demonstrated by “30% of British adults have a social networking profile”. The intended audience of passage two is mainly adults, along with newspaper readers. The writer wants to create awareness of the harms of social websites by attracting the attention of adults. This is apparent when “a growing number of psychologists and neuroscientists believe they may be doing more harm than good”. The intended effect in passage one is to bring youngsters up to date about social media and the intended effect in passage two is to persuade adults to stop their children from using too much social media by triggering emotional responses.

The tone of the first passage is humorous in the beginning, such as “uncles wearing skinny jeans”, “mothers investing in ra-ra skirts” and “kill a youth trend” but then the tone changes to serious in the second paragraph. This is evident when “causing an adolescent exodus from social networking sites”. The tone in passage two is serious as the author is addressing the problems of the harmful effects of social media on children. This is illustrated by “my fear is that these technologies are infiltrating the brain”. The intended effect in both the passages is to tell the reader about the seriousness of the situation of both the abrupt increase of adults on social media and in the second passage of the seriousness of the harm caused by social media.

The theme of passage one is about social media as the writer is talking about the overall usage of adults and the youth on social media. This is shown by the usage of words such as “Facebook” and “My Space” as well as “social networking sites”. The theme of passage two is also social media as the writer talks about the harmful effects of social media. This is illustrated by “Facebook, Twitter and Bebo” all of which are social networking sites. The idea in passage one is to convey the present-day condition of social media to many people and in passage two of the dangers of social media.

The structure of sentences in passage one is mainly simple and compound sentences throughout the entire passage. This is evident when “The cyber world, it seems, is no exception” for simple sentences and “Facebook and My Space remained immensely popular” for compound sentences. The sentence structure in passage two is composed of simple, compound, complex and compound complex sentences such as “A study by the Broadcaster Audience Research Board … seven-and-a-half hours a day in front of a screen. ” (Simple sentence) and “It is hard to see how…result in brains or rather minds….” (Compound sentence) and “she pointed out that autistic people….” (Complex sentence) along with “But they will strike a chord with parents and teachers who complain that….” (Compound complex). The intended effect of both the passages is to create a smooth flow of thought by the variation of sentence types.

The language used in passage one is formal, for example “There is nothing to suggest” and “they are spending less time”. The language used in passage is also formal, such as “they will” and “it is” as well as “we do not know”. This is to make the readers of both the passages not to take the situation lightly.

In conclusion both the writers have produces and effectively engaging piece of writing that spreads awareness to countless people on the current situation of social media and on the harmful effects of social media,

About froebelianwriters

I am an English Language teacher teaching O'Levels Edexcel and CIE A Levels at Froebel's International School, Islamabad. I am also working as a Subject Specialist Literacy consultant for the same school. Writing and reading has always been a passion and I try my utmost to instill these habits and hobbies in my students as well. I can be reached/contacted at fabbas227@hotmail.com or 03365287335 Happy reading!

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