IELTS Writing Sample #186

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Social media is becoming increasingly popular amongst all age groups. However, sharing personal information on social media websites does have risks.

Do you think that the advantages of social media outweigh the disadvantages?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Exam Tip

At first 250 may seem like a lot of words, but if you break the answer down into the paragraphs then it will seem easier: Introduction and concluding paragraph about 50 words each. The two main body paragraphs 100 words each. Each of these paragraphs has to include at least 2 ideas (3 is better), as well as reasons for your ideas and an example to support one of them.

Sample answer

Since the invention of social media, many people have been better able to connect with each other and also to keep up to date with the lives of their friends, families, co-workers and even celebrities, to such a degree which was previously impossible.

However, social media has its risks. As people of all ages have access to social media, children can be exposed to adult content, and are themselves vulnerable to be approached by strangers with unknown intentions. Even if children are sure of who they're talking to on social media, social media's issues are not completely eliminated. Cyber bullying is frequently reported in the news, and occurs on social media between children and schoolchildren. This is problematic, as it means even when children are at home, remote from their bullies they can still be bullied when they're inside their own homes.

Social media can be problematic for adults, too. People often feel comfortable posting things on social media that they wouldn't say in real life. This can indirectly cause a bad impression on other people, and if employers judge the nature of the content prospective employees post on social media to be inappropriate, it can affect their chances of attaining or keeping jobs.

As long as people are aware of the risks of using social media, and are careful to post only respectful and respectable content, then the advantages of social media far outweigh the disadvantages, and children and adults alike should be allowed to benefit from such technology.

(250 words)