You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
It is suggested that everyone wants to have a car, a television and a fridge. Do the disadvantages of this development for society outweigh the advantages?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
It is true that cars, TVs and fridges are today among the most popular consumer goods that people consider as essential to enjoy a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle. While there are drawbacks of this trend, I would argue that the advantages more than compensate for any disadvantages.
On the one hand, the health and environmental issues which are associated with the mass ownership of such products should not be underestimated. Cars discourage people from taking exercise such as walking or cycling short distances, and they produce polluting exhaust emissions which contribute to the greenhouse effect. Too much time spent in front of the TV results in unhealthy, sedentary habits, turning viewers into ‘couch potatoes’. Even the fridge prompts unhealthy eating, and youngsters in particular may become accustomed to opening the fridge to snack on some fatteningtreats. Of course, when all these products reach the end of their useful life, the problem of how to dispose of them becomes a serious environmental issue.
On the other hand, I support the view of those who believe that the benefits of these consumer products outweigh the disadvantages. Cars enable people to have freedom of movement to visit people and places. TV programmes are not all mindless entertainment, and discerning viewers will choose channels like Discovery to broaden their knowledge and will watch news and discussion programmes on serious contemporary issues. Finally, the convenience of being able to store food in the fridge for long periods is obvious – food waste is reduced and visits to the supermarket can be made on a weekly or monthly basis, saving time and effort.
In conclusion, I consider that the advantages of these products outweigh the drawbacks, provided that we use them sensibly.
fulfilling [adjective]: causing somebody to feel satisfied.
discourage [verb]: make somebody feel less confident or enthusiastic about doing something.
sedentary [adjective]: (work or activity) in which you spend a lot of time sitting down.
couch potatoes [noun]: lazy people who spend a lot of time sitting on the sofa wasting their time watching TV or playing video games.
snack [verb]: eat snacks between or instead of main meals.
fattening [adjective]: likely to make you fat.
treats [noun]: things which are very pleasant and enjoyable.
dispose of [phrasal verb] get rid of something that you cannot keep or no longer want.
mindless [adjective]: not requiring thought or intelligence.
discerning [adjective]: able to show good judgement about the quality of something.
contemporary [adjective]: belonging to the present time.
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