The Reading / Listening - Digital Detox - Level 6

Digital devices are increasingly dominating our lives these days. Many, if not most of us are addicted to them. New studies emerge with alarming frequency about the dangers to our physical and mental health of being glued to our small screens. Children are not exercising; people are worrying about their body image because of online pressure from "perfect body" sites; and people are being bullied (or worse) by cyber-criminals. In a study of 1,000 adults in Japan, researchers discovered that nearly 50 per cent of the participants were addicted to their smartphones, but were unaware of their smartphone dependence. The study is one of many clarion calls for "digital detox" to become part of our lives.

The practice of digital detox involves switching off from the Internet to enjoy something called "real life". This involves the bygone custom of conversing with people face to face and "doing everyday stuff". The organisation Digital Detox Japan said: "We want detox to be a catalyst for people to rethink their distance from their devices…to set aside time to get ample rest." People need to rely less on devices to avoid the new phenomenon of "nomophobia" – NO MObile PHOBIA. Psychologist Dr Kia-Rai Prewitt warned of the dangers of being too absorbed in smartphones. She wrote: "If you ignore responsibilities at home or work because of the amount of time you spend online, then consider a digital detox."

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Digital Detox - Level 4  or  Digital Detox - Level 5

Sources
  • https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2022/02/f6cc2d484462-feature-digital-detox-gains-allure-in-japan-amid-rising-screen-times.html
  • https://health.clevelandclinic.org/digital-detox/
  • https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/you-can-keep-your-digital-detox-i-ll-stay-connected-20220221-p59y7h.html


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice activities, drag and drop activities, sentence jumbles, which word activities, text reconstructions, spelling, gap fills and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)

Warm-ups

1. DIGITAL DEVICES: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about digital devices. Change partners often and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       digital devices / addicted / mental health / glued to screens / bullied / smartphone /
       detox / real life / custom / catalyst / distance / phenomenon / responsibilities / time
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. SCREENS: Students A strongly believe screens on smartphones, watches and tablets are dangerously small; Students B strongly believe otherwise. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. DEVICE DANGERS: How dangerous are these things? What advice do you have for people exposed to these dangers? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

How Dangerous?

Advice

Less of exercise

 

 

Worsening eyesight

 

 

Less social contact

 

 

Cyber-bullying

 

 

Online pressure

 

 

Shorter attention span

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. ONLINE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "online". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. ADDICTIONS: Rank these with your partner. Put the worst addictions at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Smartphones
  • Shopping
  • TV
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Love
  • Social media
  • Gambling

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. dominating a. A process or period of time in which one stops doing something or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances.
      2. addicted b. Become known.
      3. emerge c. The state of relying on or being controlled by someone or something else.
      4. alarming d. Having power and influence over.
      5. dependence e. A strongly expressed demand or request for action.
      6. clarion call f. Physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance, activity or thing.
      7. detox g. Worrying or disturbing.

    Paragraph 2

      8. bygone h. Enough or more than enough; plentiful.
      9. conversing i. A fact or situation whose cause or explanation is in question.
      10. catalyst j. Refuse to take notice of or acknowledge.
      11. ample k. Engaging in conversation.
      12. phenomenon l. Used or took up time.
      13. absorbed m. A person or thing that starts an event.
      14. ignore n. Belonging to an earlier time.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. The article says over 80% of us are addicted to smartphones.     T / F
  2. There is a problem with the glue used to make smartphones.     T / F
  3. A study of 10,000 people found a third of people hated smartphones.     T / F
  4. A study suggested digital detox should be part of our lives.     T / F
  5. Digital detox is switching the Internet off to enjoy real life.     T / F
  6. The article suggests conversation is on the decline.     T / F
  7. There is a phobia whereby people fear having no phone access.     T / F
  8. A psychologist said digital detox is dangerous.     T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

  1. dominating
  2. alarming
  3. pressure
  4. unaware
  5. dependence
  6. involves
  7. bygone
  8. catalyst
  9. absorbed
  10. ignore
  1. spark
  2. persuasion
  3. reliance
  4. preoccupied
  5. worrying
  6. disregard
  7. ignorant
  8. entails
  9. controlling
  10. past

3. PHRASE MATCH: (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

  1. Digital devices are increasingly
  2. most of us are addicted
  3. New studies emerge with alarming
  4. unaware of their smartphone
  5. clarion
  6. the bygone custom of
  7. We want detox to be a catalyst
  8. set aside time to
  9. avoid the new phenomenon
  10. If you ignore
  1. conversing with people
  2. frequency
  3. get ample rest
  4. responsibilities
  5. dominating our lives
  6. dependence
  7. of "nomophobia"
  8. to them
  9. for people
  10. calls

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
image
frequency
dependence
glued
participants
part
dominating
study

Digital devices are increasingly (1) _____________________ our lives these days. Many, if not most of us are addicted to them. New studies emerge with alarming (2) _____________________ about the dangers to our physical and mental health of being (3) _____________________ to our small screens. Children are not exercising; people are worrying about their body (4) _____________________ because of online pressure from "perfect body" sites; and people are being bullied (or worse) by cyber-criminals. In a (5) _____________________ of 1,000 adults in Japan, researchers discovered that nearly 50 per cent of the (6) _____________________ were addicted to their smartphones, but were unaware of their smartphone (7) _____________________. The study is one of many clarion calls for "digital detox" to become (8) _____________________ of our lives.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
stuff
phenomenon
practice
consider
catalyst
absorbed
bygone
aside

The (9) _____________________ of digital detox involves switching off from the Internet to enjoy something called "real life". This involves the (10) _____________________ custom of conversing with people face to face and "doing everyday (11) _____________________". The organisation Digital Detox Japan said: "We want detox to be a (12) _____________________ for people to rethink their distance from their devices...to set (13) _____________________ time to get ample rest." People need to rely less on devices to avoid the new (14) _____________________ of "nomophobia" - NO MObile PHOBIA. Psychologist Dr Kia-Rai Prewitt warned of the dangers of being too (15) _____________________ in smartphones. She wrote: "If you ignore responsibilities at home or work because of the amount of time you spend online, then (16) _____________________ a digital detox."

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  Digital devices are increasingly dominating our ______
     a.  alive these days
     b.  relies these days
     c.  eyes these days
     d.  lives these days
2)  the dangers to our physical and mental health of being ______ small screens
     a.  glue to our
     b.  glued to our
     c.  glue to our
     d.  gluten to our
3) worrying about their body image because of online pressure from ______
     a.  "prefect body" sites
     b.  "purr heck body" sites
     c.  "per flecked body" sites
     d.  "perfect body" sites
4)  researchers discovered that nearly 50 per cent of the ______
     a.  participants were addict it
     b.  participants were addiction
     c.  participants were addicted
     d.  participants were addictive
5)  but were unaware of their smartphone dependence. The study is one of ______
     a.  many clarion calls
     b.  many caring calls
     c.  many clearly calls
     d.  many clam calls

6)  digital detox involves switching off from the Internet to enjoy something ______
     a.  called "really life"
     b.  called "reel life"
     c.  called "reality life"
     d.  called "real life"
7)  the bygone custom of conversing with people face to face and "______"
     a.  done everyday stuff
     b.  doing every days staff
     c.  doing everyday stuff
     d.  done everyday staff
8)  catalyst for people to rethink their distance from their devices to set aside time to _____
     a.  get arm pull rest
     b.  get an pull rest
     c.  get ample rest
     d.  get amp pull rest
9)  People need to rely less on devices to avoid the new ______
     a.  phenomena of "nomophobia"
     b.  phenomenal anon of "nomophobia"
     c.  for gnome anon of "nomophobia"
     d.  phenomenon of "nomophobia"
10)  ignore responsibilities at home or work because of the amount of time ______
     a.  your spend online
     b.  ewe spend online
     c.  yew spend online
     d.  you spend online

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Digital devices are increasingly (1) ____________________ these days. Many, if not most of us (2) ____________________ them. New studies emerge with alarming frequency about the dangers to our physical and mental health of (3) ____________________ our small screens. Children are not exercising; people are worrying about their body image because of online (4) ____________________ body" sites; and people are being bullied (or worse) by cyber-criminals. In a study of 1,000 adults in Japan, researchers (5) ____________________ 50 per cent of the participants were addicted to their smartphones, but were unaware of their smartphone dependence. The study is one of (6) ____________________ for "digital detox" to become part of our lives.

The practice of digital detox (7) ____________________ from the Internet to enjoy something called "real life". This involves the bygone custom of conversing with people face to face and "(8) ____________________". The organisation Digital Detox Japan said: "We want detox to (9) ____________________ for people to rethink their distance from their devices...to set aside time to (10) ____________________." People need to rely less on devices to avoid the new phenomenon of "nomophobia" - NO MObile PHOBIA. Psychologist Dr Kia-Rai Prewitt warned of the dangers of being (11) ____________________ smartphones. She wrote: "If you ignore responsibilities at home or work because of the amount of time you spend online, (12) ____________________ digital detox."

Comprehension questions

  1. What are becoming increasingly dominant in our lives?
  2. What are we being glued to?
  3. What are children not doing?
  4. How many people tool part in a survey on smartphones?
  5. What does the article say should become part of our lives?
  6. What does the article say we should enjoy when detoxing?
  7. What does the article say is a bygone custom?
  8. What did an organisation say we needed more time for?
  9. What is the name of a new condition caused by having no phone?
  10. What does a psychologist warn against ignoring?

Multiple choice quiz

1)  What are becoming increasingly dominant in our lives?
a) Apple
b) digital devices
c) text messages
d) online videos
2)  What are we being glued to?
a) ear buds
b) each other
c) smartphone batteries
d) small screens
3) What are children not doing?
a) exercising
b) sleeping
c) homework
d) talking
4) How many people tool part in a survey on smartphones?
a) 11,000
b) 10,000
c) 1,000
d) 100,000
5) What does the article say should become part of our lives?
a) web browsers
b) digital detox
c) location trackers
d) VPNs

6) What does the article say we should enjoy when detoxing?
a) real life
b) chocolate
c) friends
d) laughter
7) What does the article say is a bygone custom?
a) going to libraries
b) writing letters
c) conversing face to face
d) talking over lunch
8) What did an organisation say we needed more time for?
a) rest
b) texting
c) friends
d) sleeping
9) What is the name of a new condition caused by having no phone?
a) nomophobia
b) smartphobia
c) mobile cold turkey
d) digitalitis
10) What does a psychologist warn against ignoring?
a) notifications
b) low battery icons
c) warnings
d) responsibilities

Role play

Role  A – Smartphones
You think smartphone addiction is the worst addiction. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their addictions. Also, tell the others which is the least harmful of these (and why): chocolate, shopping or TV.

Role  B – Chocolate
You think chocolate is the worst addiction. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their addictions. Also, tell the others which is the least harmful of these (and why): smartphones, shopping or TV.

Role  C – Shopping
You think shopping is the worst addiction. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their addictions. Also, tell the others which is the least harmful of these (and why): chocolate, smartphones or TV.

Role  D – TV
You think TV is the worst addiction. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their addictions. Also, tell the others which is the least harmful of these (and why): chocolate, shopping or smartphones.

After reading / listening

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words...

'digital'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'device'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • Share your findings with your partners.

    • Make questions using the words you found.

    • Ask your partner / group your questions.

    2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

    •Share your questions with other classmates / groups. •Ask your partner / group your questions.

    3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

    4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

    5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

    • increasingly
    • most
    • dangers
    • image
    • study
    • part
    • practice
    • bygone
    • catalyst
    • avoid
    • absorbed
    • ignore

    Student survey

    Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

    (Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

    Discussion - Digital Detox

    STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'digital'?
    3. How do digital devices dominate our lives?
    4. What did we do before we had digital devices?
    5. How addicted are you to your smartphone?
    6. Would it be easy for you to leave your phone alone for 24 hours?
    7. Have digital devices affected your health?
    8. How can we stop cyber-bullying?
    9. What do you think of 'perfect body' websites?
    10. What advice do you have for people with a smartphone addiction?

    STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'detox'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. Why is being glued to a smartphone not 'real life'?
    5. Do you prefer talking face to face or over the phone?
    6. Should we leave our smartphones outside the bedroom?
    7. How can we help people with nomophobia?
    8. Would the world be better without the Internet?
    9. What would you do if you took a one-week break from digital devices?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the researchers?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

    STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

    STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________

    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    Digital devices are (1) ____ dominating our lives these days. Many, if not most of us are addicted to them. New studies (2) ____ with alarming frequency about the dangers to our physical and mental health of being (3) ____ to our small screens. Children are not exercising; people are worrying about their body image because of online pressure from "perfect body" sites; and people are being bullied (or (4) ____) by cyber-criminals. In a study of 1,000 adults in Japan, researchers discovered that nearly 50 per cent of the participants were addicted to their smartphones, but were (5) ____ of their smartphone dependence. The study is one of many clarion (6) ____ for "digital detox" to become part of our lives.

    The practice of digital detox (7) ____ switching off from the Internet to enjoy something called "real life". This involves the (8) ____ custom of conversing with people face to face and "doing everyday stuff". The organisation Digital Detox Japan said: "We want detox to be a (9) ____ for people to rethink their distance from their devices...to set aside time to get (10) ____ rest." People need to rely less on devices to avoid the new phenomenon of "nomophobia" - NO MObile PHOBIA. Psychologist Dr Kia-Rai Prewitt warned of the dangers of being too absorbed (11) ____ smartphones. She wrote: "If you ignore responsibilities at home or work because of the amount of time you spend online, then (12) ____ a digital detox."

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    (a)     increase     (b)     increasingly     (c)     increases     (d)     increasing    
    (a)     engage     (b)     emerge     (c)     converge     (d)     verge    
    (a)     soldered     (b)     plastered     (c)     adhered     (d)     glued    
    (a)     badly     (b)     worse     (c)     bad     (d)     worst    
    (a)     wary     (b)     warily     (c)     beware     (d)     unaware    
    (a)     voices     (b)     whispers     (c)     calls     (d)     shouts    
    (a)     involves     (b)     convolutes     (c)     revolves     (d)     solves    
    (a)     begone     (b)     woebegone     (c)     bygone     (d)     goner    
    (a)     static     (b)     analytical     (c)     cyst     (d)     catalyst    
    (a)     ample     (b)     dimple     (c)     pimple     (d)     sample    
    (a)     in     (b)     of     (c)     at     (d)     by    
    (a)     consider     (b)     threaten     (c)     suggest     (d)     augment

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. devices are increasingly nniaitodmg our lives
    2. most of us are ddeiadct to them
    3. emerge with alarming uryefqnce
    4. people are being eibudll
    5. 50 per cent of the tanpiitpcras
    6. nlarico calls

    Paragraph 2

    1. the bygone custom of veiocnnsgr
    2. We want detox to be a sltactya
    3. set aside time to get lpema rest
    4. avoid the new eehonopnnm
    5. yhpgslocsoti Dr Kia-Rai Prewitt
    6. the dangers of being too besdobra

    Put the text back together

    (...)  dependence. The study is one of many clarion calls for "digital detox" to become part of our lives.
    (...)  health of being glued to our small screens. Children are not exercising; people are worrying about their body
    (...)  to them. New studies emerge with alarming frequency about the dangers to our physical and mental
    (...)  of "nomophobia" - NO MObile PHOBIA. Psychologist Dr Kia-Rai Prewitt warned of the dangers of
    (...)  being too absorbed in smartphones. She wrote: "If you ignore responsibilities at home or work
    (...)  "real life". This involves the bygone custom of conversing with people face to face and "doing everyday
    (...)  criminals. In a study of 1,000 adults in Japan, researchers discovered that nearly 50 per cent
    (...)  image because of online pressure from "perfect body" sites; and people are being bullied (or worse) by cyber
    (...)  because of the amount of time you spend online, then consider a digital detox."
    (...)  The practice of digital detox involves switching off from the Internet to enjoy something called
    (...)  aside time to get ample rest." People need to rely less on devices to avoid the new phenomenon
    (...)  stuff". The organisation Digital Detox Japan said: "We want detox to be a catalyst for people to rethink their distance from their devices...to set
    (...)  of the participants were addicted to their smartphones, but were unaware of their smartphone
    1  ) Digital devices are increasingly dominating our lives these days. Many, if not most of us are addicted

    Put the words in the right order

    1. nowadays   .  lives   are   devices  Digital  our  dominating   increasingly
    2. with   about   alarming   frequency   emerge   Studies   dangers   .   the
    3. are   increasingly   worrying   their   body   image   .   about   People
    4. are   People   bullied,      by   worse,   being   cyber-criminals   .   or
    5. digital   clarion   One   many   detox   .   calls   of   for
    6. practice   involves   switching   off   .   digital   of   The   detox
    7. conversing   .   custom   involves   of   the   This   bygone
    8. want   really   a   to   detox   catalyst   .   We   be
    9. on   digital   to   rely   less   devices   .   need   People
    10. in   dangers   The   absorbed   too   smartphones   .   being   of

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Digital devices are increased / increasingly dominating our lives these days. Many, if not most of us are addicted / addiction to them. New studies emerge with alarming frequently / frequency about the dangers to our physical and mental health of being glued / adhesive to our small screens. Children are not exercising; people are worrying about their bodily / body image because of online pressure from "perfect body" sites; and people are being bullied (or worse) by / of cyber-criminals. In a study at / of 1,000 adults in Japan, researchers discovered that nearly / near 50 per cent of the participants were addicted to / on their smartphones, but were unaware of their smartphone dependence. The study is one of many collect / clarion calls for "digital detox" to become part of our lives.

    The practice of digital detox involves switching on / off from the Internet to enjoy something called "real life". This involves the going / bygone custom of conversing / conserving with people face to face and "doing everyday stuff". The organisation Digital Detox Japan said: "We want detox to be a catalyst / catalytic for people to rethink their distance from their devices...to set beside / aside time to get ample rest." People need to rely / belie less on devices to avoid the new phenomena / phenomenon of "nomophobia" - NO MObile PHOBIA. Psychologist Dr Kia-Rai Prewitt warned of the dangers of being too sorbet / absorbed in smartphones. She wrote: "If you ignore / gnaw responsibilities at home or work because of the amount of time you spend online, then consider / considerable a digital detox."

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    D_g_t_l  d_v_c_s  _r_  _ncr__s_ngly  d_m_n_t_ng  __r  l_v_s  th_s_  d_ys.  M_ny,  _f  n_t  m_st  _f  _s  _r_  _dd_ct_d  t_  th_m.  N_w  st_d__s  _m_rg_  w_th  _l_rm_ng  fr_q__ncy  _b__t  th_  d_ng_rs  t_  __r  phys_c_l  _nd  m_nt_l  h__lth  _f  b__ng  gl__d  t_  __r  sm_ll  scr__ns.  Ch_ldr_n  _r_  n_t  _x_rc_s_ng;  p__pl_  _r_  w_rry_ng  _b__t  th__r  b_dy  _m_g_  b_c__s_  _f  _nl_n_  pr_ss_r_  fr_m  "p_rf_ct  b_dy"  s_t_s;  _nd  p__pl_  _r_  b__ng  b_ll__d  (_r  w_rs_)  by  cyb_r  cr_m_n_ls.  _n  _  st_dy  _f  1,000  _d_lts  _n  J_p_n,  r_s__rch_rs  d_sc_v_r_d  th_t  n__rly  50  p_r c_nt  _f  th_  p_rt_c_p_nts  w_r_  _dd_ct_d  t_  th__r  sm_rtph_n_s,  b_t  w_r_  _n_w_r_  _f  th__r  sm_rtph_n_  d_p_nd_ncy.  Th_  st_dy  _s  _n_  _f  m_ny  cl_r__n  c_lls  f_r  "d_g_t_l  d_t_x"  t_  b_c_m_  p_rt  _f  __r  l_v_s. 

    Th_  pr_ct_c_  _f  d_g_t_l  d_t_x  _nv_lv_s  sw_tch_ng  _ff  fr_m  th_  _nt_rn_t  t_  _nj_y  s_m_th_ng  c_ll_d  "r__l  l_f_".  Th_s  _nv_lv_s  th_  byg_n_  c_st_m  _f  c_nv_rs_ng  w_th  p__pl_  f_c_  t_  f_c_  _nd  "d__ng  _v_ryd_y  st_ff".  Th_  _rg_n_s_t__n  D_g_t_l  D_t_x  J_p_n  s__d:  "W_  w_nt  d_t_x  t_  b_  _  c_t_lyst  f_r  p__pl_  t_  r_th_nk  th__r  d_st_nc_  fr_m  th__r  d_v_c_s...t_  s_t  _s_d_  t_m_  t_  g_t  _mpl_  r_st."  P__pl_  n__d  t_  r_ly  l_ss  _n  d_v_c_s  t_  _v__d  th_  n_w  ph_n_m_n_n  _f  "n_m_ph_b__"  -  N_  M_b_l_  PH_B__.  Psych_l_g_st  Dr  K__-R__  Pr_w_tt  w_rn_d  _f  th_  d_ng_rs  _f  b__ng  t__  _bs_rb_d  _n  sm_rtph_n_s.  Sh_  wr_t_:  "_f  y__  _gn_r_  r_sp_ns_b_l_t__s  _t  h_m_  _r  w_rk  b_c__s_  _f  th_  _m__nt  _f  t_m_  y__  sp_nd  _nl_n_,  th_n  c_ns_d_r  _  d_g_t_l  d_t_x."

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    digital devices are increasingly dominating our lives these days many if not most of us are addicted to them new studies emerge with alarming frequency about the dangers to our physical and mental health of being glued to our small screens children are not exercising people are worrying about their body image because of online pressure from perfect body sites and people are being bullied or worse by cyber-criminals in a study of 1000 adults in japan researchers discovered that nearly 50 per cent of the participants were addicted to their smartphones but were unaware of their smartphone dependence the study is one of many clarion calls for digital detox to become part of our lives

    the practice of digital detox involves switching off from the internet to enjoy something called real life this involves the bygone custom of conversing with people face to face and doing everyday stuff the organisation digital detox japan said we want detox to be a catalyst for people to rethink their distance from their devicesto set aside time to get ample rest people need to rely less on devices to avoid the new phenomenon of nomophobia  no mobile phobia psychologist dr kiarai prewitt warned of the dangers of being too absorbed in smartphones she wrote if you ignore responsibilities at home or work because of the amount of time you spend online then consider a digital detox

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Digitaldevicesareincreasinglydominatingourlivesthesedays.Many,if
    notmostofusareaddictedtothem.Newstudiesemergewithalarmingfr
    equencyaboutthedangerstoourphysicalandmentalhealthofbeingglu
    edtooursmallscreens.Childrenarenotexercising;peopleareworrying
    abouttheirbodyimagebecauseofonlinepressurefrom"perfectbody"si
    tes;andpeoplearebeingbullied(orworse)bycyber-criminals.Inastud
    yof1,000adultsinJapan,researchersdiscoveredthatnearly50percent
    oftheparticipantswereaddictedtotheirsmartphones,butwereunawar
    eoftheirsmartphonedependence.Thestudyisoneofmanyclarioncallsf
    or"digitaldetox"tobecomepartofourlives.Thepracticeofdigitaldetoxi
    nvolvesswitchingofffromtheInternettoenjoysomethingcalled"reallif
    e".Thisinvolvesthebygonecustomofconversingwithpeoplefacetofac
    eand"doingeverydaystuff".TheorganisationDigitalDetoxJapansaid:"
    Wewantdetoxtobeacatalystforpeopletorethinktheirdistancefromthe
    irdevices...tosetasidetimetogetamplerest."Peopleneedtorelylesson
    devicestoavoidthenewphenomenonof"nomophobia"-NOMObilePH
    OBIA.PsychologistDrKia-RaiPrewittwarnedofthedangersofbeingtoo
    absorbedinsmartphones.Shewrote:"Ifyouignoreresponsibilitiesath
    omeorworkbecauseoftheamountoftimeyouspendonline,thenconsid
    eradigitaldetox."

    Free writing

    Write about digital detox for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    Lifestyles would be better without digital devices. Discuss.

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    Homework

    1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google's search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.
    2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
    3. DIGITAL DEVICES: Make a poster about digital devices. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. DETOX: Write a magazine article about all of us digitally detoxing for three days a week. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against this.
    Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).
    5. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on digital devices. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your opinions on digital detox. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    A Few Additional Activities for Students

    Ask your students what they have read, seen or heard about this news in their own language. Students are likely to / may have have encountered this news in their L1 and therefore bring a background knowledge to the classroom.

    Get students to role play different characters from this news story.

    Ask students to keep track of this news and revisit it to discuss in your next class.

    Ask students to male predictions of how this news might develop in the next few days or weeks, and then revisit and discuss in a future class.

    Ask students to write a follow-up story to this news.

    Students role play a journalist and someone who witnessed or was a part of this news. Perhaps they could make a video of the interview.

    Ask students to keep a news journal in English and add this story to their thoughts.

    Also...

    Buy my 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers eBook. It has hundreds of ideas, activity templates, reproducible activities for:

    • News
    • Warm ups
    • Pre-reading / Post-reading
    • Using headlines
    • Working with words
    • While-reading / While-listening
    • Moving from text to speech
    • Post-reading / Post-listening
    • Discussions
    • Using opinions
    • Plans
    • Language
    • Using lists
    • Using quotes
    • Task-based activities
    • Role plays
    • Using the central characters in the article
    • Using themes from the news
    • Homework

    Buy my book

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    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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