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Now read the following piece of news and be ready to answer the questions

7, November 2010

The Internet will become a little more regal on Monday.

Buckingham Palace is launching its own Facebook page, giving fans of the British royal family a chance to follow Queen Elizabeth II's daily schedule and see photos and videos of the royal household.

Users will not be able to "friend" the queen as the page is not considered a personal page by the social networking site. But Facebook users can become "fans" of the monarch.

A palace official said the queen has never used Facebook herself and that the page would be maintained by her staff, The Associated Press reported.

The royal family, however, has a strong legacy of utilizing technology to reach the masses - launching a Web site in 1997, a YouTube video channel in 2007 and a Twitter feed last year.


1. What new page appeared on Facebook?

2. What information does in contain?

3. Can you have the British Queen as one of your Facebook friends?

4. Does the Queen run the page herself?

5. Is it the first social media technology that the Royal Family use?

6. Was it a good idea to create such a page?

7. Do your follow any famous people on their Internet pages?

8. Should Russian high-ranking officials set up their own Internet pages?

Section 2 Reading

2.1 Read two texts below and think about the possible title for the texts. What makes them similar? What makes the texts different? Which one is more difficult to read and understand, why so?

TEXT A Communication technology is invading our life more than ever before. Mobile phones are never farther than a reach of our hands away. Emails, social networks, the internet are more present than ever before. More than 60% of all internet users also communicate via social networks and over 85 % of all teenagers have accounts on social networks.

Psychologists have started to define terms like Facebook addiction in their reports. Social media sites can be so addicting that people, especially youngsters, do not want to spend time with anything else, they live their relationships in a virtual world.

People often choose to talk to each other via mobile phone, Skype or communicate via Facebook because they may be afraid of getting to know each other, face to face. However, by doing this, they are missing out on their partner’s facial expressions or the gestures that the other makes. Emotions are reduced to Likes or Dislikes, smiley faces or other emoticons.

Psychology experts have also noticed that more and more marriages are breaking up. One of the reasons may be because Facebook makes it possible to communicate with old friends from high-school or former boy or girl friends that you have not had contact with in ages.

Couples are not communicating with each other as they should in real life. They sometimes even break up over Facebook and other social networks. Frequently, they do not argue about things in the usual way, they tend to carry out quarrels in public. As a result, others comment about something that should be solved privately. They don’t share with each other, they share with everyone,

It is strange to consider the fact that software developers and social network creators are, in real life, not really very social. Most of them are shy people who like to stick to their computers and do not create lasting friendships.

Facebook has defined privacy in a new way. Many things that should be private have become public. Social media has changed the world. It has helped uprisings in Arab countries and overthrown governments. Facebook, Twitter and others are omnipresent. They are the last things we worry about when we go to bed and the first thinks we check on when we get up.

In the future more social networks may pop up. We may be able to not only share photos with others but also our shopping lists or illnesses. More and more sites on the web are telling people to share. The more followers and friends we have the more excited we get.


America is presently facing a big dilemma — unlimited access to digital media and social networking. All ages are using smartphones, tablets, and laptops to communicate and to update. Timothy Bickmore’s “Friendship and Intimacy in the Digital Age” explains how people need intimate and face to face communication in order to live a healthy lifestyle. These personal relationships give meaning to most people’s lives. However, it seems as if social networking has taken that place. The Internet is somehow engaging its users enough for them to fall into a form of digital slavery, which is replacing the time that would be spent with friends.

Without Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, many people feel removed and disconnected from the rest of the world. In order to “connect,” users turn to the web. A recent study shows that social networking sites consume over three hours a day for the average American. Unlike social networking, many relationships require a bit of effort that many feel unnecessary. Posting and tweeting are effortless to an average user, thus easily replacing relationships. In reality, users are fighting for “likes” and “followers” to fill the void due to lack of personal relationships. In order to feel purpose, they focus on the quantity of online interactions instead of the quality of communication and friendships.

Although highly addictive, social networking sites remain appealing to media users for this reason. Many say they are “too busy” for friends, yet they have the time to browse their networking sites. This unlimited access allows users to post or browse at any time of the night without waking or annoying another. This ultimately allows social networking sites to profit by “selling your (and my) free labor.” Americans must realize that intimate communication is important to their health and personal relationships. Users should limit the use of social networking and increase the time spent in the presence of a friend.

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