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Tài liệu: Ielts essay for Causeeffect writing Task 2

Being healthy is kind of a mysterious thing. Some people can drink alcohol all the time and
smoke cigars in between and live long and relatively healthy, whereas nutrition-nut
individuals always eating organic food and abstaining from habits that would be detrimental
at times die early. Genetics definitely has an influence on how long we live and how well we
do internally, but there are many other factors that strongly affect our health. Let us explore
the general, intrinsic, and extrinsic factors that affect our well-being.
To get facts straight, the most influential factor affecting our health is our socioeconomic
status (40%). After this comes, in order, health behaviors (30%), environment (10%), family
genetics (10%), and finally healthcare (10%) (What Affects Our Health?). Socioeconomic
status involves race, education, and poverty level. We are often born into an unhealthy status,
or land into one due to economic situations. Not surprisingly, healthy habits such as
exercising, good eating, and meditation reflect the second most influential factor. But it seems
that many people with a low socioeconomic status cannot afford to engage in these health
behaviors. Clean air, clean water, a lack of toxicity, safety, and green materials all help to
maintain our health as well, reflecting the third most important factor for our health status.
Maybe somewhat of a surprise, genetics is the fourth most essential factor, with predisposition
playing a role. Slightly less influential is the standard of healthcare we have, which is curious
to think about, since we spend enormous amounts of money on it.
Next, we will get into more detail about the intrinsic and and extrinsic factors affecting our

health. Intrinsic factors involve elements within our body that can possibly create diseases
and other harmful processes, whereas extrinsic factors comprise aspects of the outer world
that can influence our health. The main intrinsic factors are malfunctioning body parts,
hereditary diseases, hormonal diseases, and allergies. In terms of extrinsic factors, we got
nutritional disorders, infections by microorganisms, habit-forming substances, and
environmental pollution (Shetty, Satya). I think “habit-forming substances” needs a bit more
explanation. Drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana or cigarettes, sniffing glue, or hard drugs
could be classified as habit-forming substances. They are usually addictive and are
intertwined with popular lifestyles.
We have been mostly delving into physical health, but mentioning mental health is also
key. In fact, many specialists believe our mental and physical sides are interconnected.
Let us take depression. If an individual is showing signs of depression, they have a “67%
increased risk of death from heart disease” and also a “50% increased risk of death
from cancer” (Mental Health Foundation). With a more severe issue like schizophrenia,
people with this problem “double the risk of death from heart disease” and are “three times

the risk of death from respiratory disease” (Mental Health Foundation). On a more everyday
level, stress can cause a large amount of emotional, physical, cognitive, and behavioral
symptoms. There are too many symptoms to mention here, so I will give a run down of the
most essential. For emotional symptoms, we have “becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and
moody, feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control, having
difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind”; in terms of physical symptoms, we can list “low
energy, headaches, upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea”; with
cognitive symptoms, we have “constant worrying, racing thoughts, forgetfulness and
disorganization”; and finally for behavioral symptoms, we can name “changes in appetite—
either not eating or eating too much, procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities, increased
use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes” (WebMD) . As you can see, stress creates a complex of
damage for an individual.
What makes one person healthy and another person unhealthy involves a multitude of factors.
Socioeconomic status, health behaviors, environment, genetics, and healthcare are the tip of
the iceberg. There are a myriad intrinsic and extrinsic factors that affect our health, and our
mental health is also interconnected with our bodily state. With socioeconomic status being
the most driving factor for health, it seems doctors and other professionals related to keeping
the health of people above water should focus on raising the socioeconomic status of their

Modern psychology leans towards believing that maturing is a continuous process which can

last one’s entire life, rather than a single moment of psychological “initiation,” after which a
person realizes that he or she has become an adult. Respectively, challenges we have to deal
with almost always correspond with the stage of psychological development we are currently
in. Problems we go through as teenagers at high school and those we face as grown-up
individuals differ in nature and complexity, although our emotional response mechanisms
remain the same: in difficult situations, our bodies react with stress.
Being stressed is normal, usually. In fact, stress is not necessarily a negative feeling, but
rather a condition in which we find ourselves during or after periods of emotional
and/or physical loads. In other words, even positive factors such as marriage or
graduation can be stressful. Normally, after a stressful factor is eliminated, our psyche goes
back to its normal condition. However, if a person was exposed to a series of stressful events,
or remained under stress for a long period of time, it may become not so easy to get rid of it.


In fact, psychologists distinguish between three main kinds of stress: acute, episodic, and
chronic (Psychologist World). Acute stress is a result of short-term yet traumatic events—for
example, a car accident, a conflict with a friend or relative, witnessing or falling victim to
violence, and so on. Episodic stress is what we all go through on an everyday basis: shortterm situations we have to deal with every day, and which have become almost habitual. For
instance, getting stuck in a traffic jam and being late for work, or having a deadline at work,
or paying taxes—these are some examples of episodic stressful events which can affect us
negatively, but which are bearable and manageable. And finally, chronic stress is a result of
processes that occur in our lives, and the effects of which are prolonged in time as well.
Perhaps the best example of a situation causing chronic stress is an unhappy marriage, when
both a wife and a husband suffer, but have no courage to get divorced.
Naturally, emotional sensitivity varies in each individual, so the same events can cause
different emotional responses in people. What is a mundane morning ride to work for one
person can be daily hell for another one; one spouse may be content with his or her marriage,
while the other one can feel trapped and unable to go on with the relationship any longer. At
the same time, there are stress factors that tend to cause negative emotions of approximately
the same intensity in almost everyone.
According to the Holmes-Raye Social Readjustment Rating Scale, one of the most
emotionally-crippling factors of stress is the death of a loved one (LiveStrong.com). The
situation gets worse if spouses had common business or debts, so after the death of one of
them, another one has to take full responsibility of chores. However, it is not only a spouse
whose death can cause intense stress: the death of a parent, a child, a friend, or a significant
other can cause intense emotional pain as well. As the time goes, the pain will become less
acute, but the psyche will take vast amounts of time to recover—this is a natural part of the
process of grieving, so little can be done about it.
Similarly to the loss of a loved one, divorce is another factor of stress that affects the majority
of people with similar strength. Unlike dating, divorce implies not just two people breaking
up and starting to live separately, but also a number of legal consequences which need to be
attended to. Divorce usually means moving to a different place, learning to live a single life,
sharing custody over children, dividing property, breaking previously-established social
connections, and so on. This is a huge change in the life of any individual, and even if spouses
hated each other and the divorce was their first step towards a long-anticipated peaceful life,
judicial and legal matters following a divorce can cause huge amounts of stress.
Financial worries can be a powerful stress factor as well. We live in a world where a huge part
of information perceived by every individual is advertising certain goods and services. The
number of material temptations is overwhelming, and financial systems support ubiquitous
consumption via loans, crediting policies, etc. From one angle, this increases the standards of

living, and makes people’s lives more comfortable, and goods more accessible. On the other
hand, having to pay numerous bills, loans, credits, calculating incomes and expenses,
financially supporting other people, and so on, is known to cause immense stress
(Psychologist World). Financial worries are not something rich people are free of: in fact, just
as in case with divorce and death, financial problems can become a huge strain in the life of
every individual, regardless of their incomes.
Psychological stress is a normal part of living. While some people tend to be more emotional
than others, there are stress factors that can affect almost everyone, regardless of their
sensitivity. Among the most powerful ones are the death of a loved one, divorce, and worries
related to finance and money. No matter what the reason is, it is important to learn how to
manage stress in order to not let it become chronic and overwhelming.

With the emergence of Facebook, the way people communicate with each other changed
forever. A social network allowing users to share the events of their lives through posting
photos and status updates, to monitor the lives of their friends, and to communicate directly
via a built-in messenger has revolutionized Internet communication, causing millions of
people all over the world to share all kinds of information about themselves. There were, of
course, other social networks before Facebook, but none of them garnered such a significant
user base, remained as persistent, and continued to act as an effective form of communication
as much as Facebook did. Along with Facebook, currently there are many other social
networks, each with their own features and purposes; what unites them all, though, is the idea
of sharing. Seemingly, this should positively impact the communication skills of users, since
it allows communication even for people far away from each other, or who are unable to
communicate live. However, there have been numerous research studies proving the opposite:
social media platforms not only impair a user’s ability to share thoughts, but distort
communication processes, creating more problems than they solve.
Speaking of the positive effects of social networks, they lie on the surface. According to
surveys, 39% of respondents reported feeling closer to their friends because of social
media, while 26% of the sample felt that they had more friends because of social media
(NR Media). Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other similar services make daily
communications between family members, friends, and business partners easier, more
accessible, and independent of circumstances, such as distance. Communities existing on such
platforms unite people sharing similar interests or concerns, and allow the representatives of
various cultural backgrounds to reach each other with no constraints. Helping strangers meet


and enabling initial communication between them—this is what social networks are definitely
good for.
At the same time, numerous research studies prove that social media platforms
negatively affect people’s social skills. Probably the most alarming phenomenon
connected to the extensive use of social media services is the decrease in quality of
interpersonal communication. One of the big problems in modern interpersonal
communication is the lack of interest people have for face-to-face communication; even
today, there are many people (especially millennials, or younger) who prefer to solve work or
personal problems via social messaging systems. Approximately 93 percent of
communication today is already nonverbal, and thus requires an additional means of helping
people understand each other (such as smileys or emojis), since text does not convey the total
palette of intonations or facial expressions. This brings up several problems; for example,
without these means, it is often more difficult to understand another person in a messenger
system (the classical “he/she did not insert smileys, so I thought he/she is mad at me”); or, in
real life, it may become harder to differentiate and understand real emotions. According to
some experts, even families prefer texting over face-to-face chat. All this leads to difficulties
in professional and personal relationships (Rampages.us).
Substituting real life experiences and events with Facebook-format online updates is another
problem. Studies show that about 11 percent of adults prefer to stay at home on
weekends and make posts on Facebook about how much fun they are having, instead of
going out and acquiring real-life experiences. According to Hussein Chahine, the founder
of the service Yazino, “Communication is constantly evolving. Some people are as used to
seeing their friends’ online avatar as they are their face […] People increasingly prefer quick
and frequent engagement with instant updates on news than a prolonged chat and are also
finding new ways to catch up with friends from the comfort of their sofa.” Mark Clennon, a
graduate of the University of South Florida, says that “People tend to want to show others that
they are having fun than actually having fun themselves […] There’s a greater desire to share
with other people you barely know, than actually hanging out with friends and making
memories” (USA Today College). This is directly connected to another problem: “Facebook
depression.” Generally speaking, it is the sense of inferiority occurring when people
(teenagers, mostly) compare their real lives to the lives of their Facebook friends—based on
the posts these friends make online—completely missing out on the fact that what they see is
not necessarily true (NYBH). As a result, an interesting and alarming phenomenon emerges:
many people sit at home, busy creating visibility of living fulfilled, happy lives, and suffer
when they see how fulfilled the lives of other people are—who, in their turn, sit at home, busy
creating visibility of living fulfilled, happy lives. This is a poignant example of a vicious


Yet another impairment of communication skills caused by the extensive use of social
media platforms is the impoverishment of language. Using messengers, people often use
shorthand and shortened versions of words in order to type and deliver their messages
as quickly as possible. However, such means of communication are much less effective
than conventional ones (or rather, traditional, since contractions, slang, and abbreviations
such as “brb,” “u r,” “m8,” “dunno,” and so on have already become almost conventional),
and people getting used to them can experience difficulties in real-life interpersonal
communication (Rampages.us). This is not to mention illiteracy, which is already becoming a
scourge of this generation communicating through messengers.
Although social media may help people establish initial contact and aid people in uniting into
groups under certain interests, they also cause a number of problems. In particular, nonverbal
communication is gradually becoming one of the dominant forms of interpersonal interaction,
negatively affecting people’s ability to deal with personal contact and meet the reactions and
emotions of other people in real life. A significant percent of adults (up to 11 percent) prefer
staying at home and communicating via their devices rather than going out and acquiring reallife experiences. This, along with “Facebook depression” and the overall impoverishment of
language and communication skills, is alarming, and requires adequate and timely measures.

It is commonplace that technologies are changing the world we live in. Roughly every two
decades, Earth becomes almost a brand new place in terms of technological wonders
becoming routine, and revolutionary ideas settling as solid scientific theories. However, we
might not be aware of the extent to which the world is changing—not just because we
constantly live within the eye of the hurricane, so to say, but also because technologies
sometimes advance too fast for us to comprehend and evaluate their influence on the ways we
live, think, feel, and behave. One of such technologies is virtual reality, or VR: a concept
introduced by science-fiction writers and scientists quite a while ago, but is now becoming a
trending technology worldwide. And, since it is obvious that VR will from now on be an
inalienable part of the world, it is important to contemplate the ways in which it will affect
If we analyze the term “virtual reality,” we naturally need to understand what each of its two
components mean on their own. So, according to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary,
“virtual” means “very close to being something without actually being it” (MerriamWebster.com). Specifically, this adjective is mostly applied to the environments created with
the help of computers (as in video games, for example). “Reality,” in its turn, is broadly
speaking about the whole three-dimensional world we live in and interact with. Considering

these two definitions, it can be said that virtual reality is an artificially-created threedimensional environment constructed with the help of computers, which people can interact
with in the same way as they do with the real world, using their senses to navigate and
explore it.
Computer generation can emulate situations and environments hardly possible in the real
present world: visual effects we can see in movies such as “Transformers” or “Avatar” make a
solid example of this statement; no need to say that emulating regular real-life situations is
also possible for VR. Therefore, VR can be used to enable people perform actions without
affecting the real world, which is especially useful for all kinds of training and practices. For
instance, a future jet pilot can safely learn how to maintain and fly their aircraft without
putting their life at risk and wasting expensive fuel. An astronaut can practice their outer
space repairing skills with the help of a computer simulation, completely emulating the
conditions that he/she will face in actual space. A medical student can learn how to perform
surgeries or autopsies on fully interactive body models, which can appropriately respond to a
student’s every action—needless to say it is much safer for learning than when a novice
surgeon performs their first operation on a real patient. Therefore, one of the most obvious
effects VR will have on the modern world is the enhancement of studying and training
capabilities, especially for the people involved in dangerous jobs.
VR can be great for entertainment, socialization, and art. In 2015, probably the biggest social
media giant, Facebook, bought Oculus VR technology, integrating the possibilities it offers
into the platform. For example, with Oculus Rift, it will soon be possible to view your
friends’ photos in a 360-degree mode, which basically means you will be able to be
virtually present on the events you missed, seeing them from a first-person perspective,
and giving you a more immersive experience (AndroidPit). Gaming and movie industries
will benefit from VR technology greatly, attracting millions of new customers annually—
creating engaging and thrilling entertainment products capable of fully capturing consumers
attention will benefit these industries and boost their further development.
Also, virtual reality can be a great help and relief for people with limited capabilities,
especially for those who are fully or partially paralyzed, and thus have to live their lives
chained to only one or few locations. It can give such people an opportunity to explore the
world around them in the same way people without disabilities can do: the ability to walk,
run, and perform other actions we take for granted can be a life savior for the majority of
paralyzed patients, and this is probably the best opportunity VR can offer humanity at the
moment (Engadget). This is not to mention that VR allows things impossible in real life, such
as teleportation or Superman-like flying, all of which would also be available for such people.
As it can be seen, virtual reality is a new technology that can affect the lives of many people
worldwide in a number of ways. Being an artificial, three-dimensional depiction of the real

world, it grants numerous opportunities for practicing a wide range of skills that would
otherwise imply great risks; jet pilots or medical students, for example, would definitely
appreciate the possibilities VR grants. VR can significantly change the way people interact
online, making their digital experiences for immersive and realistic—for example, Facebook
has integrated Oculus technology, allowing 360-degree viewing of images, and this is just the
beginning. The last but not the least is the fact that VR will allow disabled people to
experience what they are deprived of: walking, running, exploring the world and travelling,
and so on, so its value in these terms is difficult to underestimate.

Adolescence is probably the most extreme period in the life of an individual. Transiting from
childhood to being an adult is full of rioting, searching for one’s identity and purpose,
developing new models of behavior, psychologically separating from parents, and maturing.
Many people tend to remember their teen years as the most saturated and meaningful—even
though what teenagers usually do is hang out with friends and party. This age, however, is not
as carefree and unclouded as it seems; teenagers, due to hormonal hurricanes and the
psychological peculiarities of this age, often get themselves in trouble. Millions of parents
around the world are worried that their children at this age will get in the wrong surrounding,
start doing drugs, or drink alcohol; there is, at the same time, a problem that is no less
dangerous: running away from home.
Although it might seem romantic—escaping home and wandering around the country or
abroad, in search of one’s purpose or for whatever other reason—the reality is
different. According to statistics, every year, up to 2.8 million teens who escape from
home have to live on the streets. Among them, about 50% have been kicked out of their
homes or shelters at least once, and they specified home conflicts being one of the main
reasons of this; according to the reports of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention, about 20% of young people who have been thrown out of their homes or escaped
faced physical and/or sexual abuse, or felt they were under the threat of abuse. Overall, more
than 60% of runaway teenagers have depression, half of them have problems at school, and
about 20% have developed substance addiction (National Safe Place). As it can be seen from
the statistics, being a runaway is not about romantically searching for their place in the world,
but rather suffering from injustice, poverty, violence, and depression.
Of course, there are cases when teens run away because of something bad at home (for
example, a big fight with parents, or harsh restrictions, and so on). However, for a large
percentage of runaways, the need to escape is innate, due to systematic misfortunes at
home or school. In this regard, specialists distinguish between episodic running away and

chronic running away. Episodic running away does not have a consistent pattern, and usually
it not used to manipulate parents. More likely, episodic runaways occur in order to avoid
punishment for misbehavior or misconduct, possible humiliation (for instance, from peers at
school), or embarrassment. In the case of chronic running away, the situation is different;
teenagers who regularly escape from home may be using this strategy to influence their
parents, draw their attention if other means do not prove to be efficient, manipulate parents, or
act out. One of the signs of such a pattern is when a teenager uses phrases such as: “If you
make me do this/If you do not do that, I will run away.” They may threaten their parents by
saying, “If you make me do that, I’ll run away,” knowing that running away is what many
parents are afraid of. This is a bargaining strategy, and parents can engage in it without fully
realizing they in fact cater to such behavioral patterns, not prevent them. Once a parent
concedes to such blackmailing, a teenager may start using it more to always get what he or
she wants; when such a relationship model substitutes direct and open communication
between children and parents, it is not a healthy relationship anymore (Empowering Parents).
As for the reasons why teenagers choose to escape can be numerous. Among the most
common ones are abuse (physical, emotional, sexual, and so on), substance addiction, and
peer pressure. According to a study conducted at the University of Chicago, the most common
reason for teenagers to run away from home is the lack of support and understanding coming
from family members—and this is the best-case scenario. Unfortunately, there are numerous
cases when teens have been molested, beaten, humiliated, threatened, and mistreated in their
families; the fact that parents—probably the closest people to a teen—do this to him or her
deeply undermines a young person’s ability to trust the world and his or her given society.
Often being dependent on their parents in terms of finance or a place to live, they do not have
an effective means of preventing or stopping harm from their parents; running away for such
children seems to be the only valid option. Nearly the same is the situation for many teenagers
at schools; feeling like a black sheep in class or being bullied, such teens tend to choose
radical ways of problem solving. There were infamous cases when such teens committed
mass shootings in the schools they studied at, but less psychologically traumatized children
prefer to eliminate themselves from the stressful environment—through running away,
usually. As for substance addiction, it commonly accompanies the aforementioned problems;
a healthy teenager who has good relationships within and outside the family rarely feels the
desire to try out drugs, for example; this may be done as an experiment or a part of teenage
rioting behavior, but rarely turns into a consistent pattern typical for addicts. Nevertheless,
teenagers who develop a substance addiction may run away from home in order to conceal
this addiction from their parents, find money (often illegally) to buy more drugs or alcohol, or
because they got into trouble connected to substances. Either way, parents need to look out for
the signs of addiction a child may display in order to be able to notice the problem in time and
try to solve it before it is too late.


Running away as a teen is a dangerous act. Teens who escape their homes often have to live
in poverty, depression, and abuse; trying to solve problems (such as physical or emotional
abuse, for example) at school or home, they run away hoping to get away from the source of
distress; however, living on the streets means becoming less protected and more vulnerable,
so the reason why teens escape does not vanish. Therefore, parents should be more attentive
to their children, encourage direct communication, and watch out for signs of problems their
child might be demonstrating in order to prevent the situation from becoming worse.

The Automation of Jobs
As exciting as the advancement of cybernetics and robotics might look, it also poses a
challenge to the way of life we have got accustomed to throughout centuries. Perhaps since
the beginning of time, there was a job to do, and a man or woman who performed it. The
results of this work—food, goods, money—belonged to human beings. Work has always been
both a way to make a living, and a way of self-realization, a fulfillment of one’s calling, and a
duty. It is also true that it has always been time-consuming, occupying the time one could
probably spend with family, or on hobbies and other activities.
The latter (along with the ever-existing pursuit of increased productivity) caused scientists
and inventors to think whether work could be performed on its own, without the participation
of people—in order to use their time and energy for something more pleasant, interesting, etc.
And in the 21st century, automation and robotic engineering have become the answer to this
search; supposedly, almost any manned job can be performed by a machine. Unfortunately,
along with the new industrial revolution, the increase of work efficiency, and other benefits,
automation will also most likely cause several critical issues to emerge—mass unemployment
probably being the major one.
Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and his colleague
Andrew McAfee believe the rapid progress in computer and robotic spheres (for example, the
usage of robots in heavy industries, or the widespread usage of automated translation services,
and so on) do not correspond with the slow rates of employment growth. In other words,
technologies take more jobs than a modern society can produce; this is not to mention
that automation reaches, or is about to reach, not only such spheres as manufacturing or
retail jobs, but also education, finance, law, and medicine. This is a worrying sign, because
such a spread of automation means qualified people gradually losing their workplace in favor
of machines; all this can lead to the stagnation of the median income, as well as the growth of
inequality—this regards the United States and other technologically-developed countries
(MIT Technology Review).

The question arising in relation to this is which jobs are under threat? Generally
speaking, automation mostly affects physical labor, such as driving or vending. In 2013,
Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne published a study in which they researched
around 700 professions in terms of them possibly being automated. What they
discovered is that about 47% of workers in the United States are in the zone of risk,
because the specifics of their jobs implied they could be replaced by machines (for the
United Kingdom, this index is 35%, and for Japan, around 49%). For example, such
spheres as transportation (including taxi and delivery services), logistics, services (sales,
technical support, telemarketers, accountants, etc.) are among the most vulnerable ones.
According to the authors of the study, “recent developments in machine learning will put a
substantial share of employment, across a wide range of occupations, at risk in the near
future.” (The Economist).
Yet another study involving 1,896 experts required them to answer the following question:
“Will networked, automated, artificial intelligence (AI) applications and robotic devices
displace more jobs than they have created by 2025?” The opinions on this subject have fallen
into two approximately equal halves. About 52% of experts believe technologies will not
replace people in the number of jobs bigger than they create by 2025—as it had happened
before, during the previous industrial revolutions; however, the other half—48% of the
experts questioned—believed automation will inevitably displace huge numbers of people
working at “blue collar” and “white collar” jobs, as many qualified specialists would become
unemployable; the latter is expected to cause a dramatic increase of inequality in terms of
income, and the disturbances of the habitual social order existing currents (Pew Research
As it can be seen, the automation of jobs is not by default beneficial for modern society. It is
true that it can increase the efficiency of work in a number of professional areas, but the cost
is expected to be high; according to studies conducted in this direction, automation will leave
countless competent specialists unemployed (mostly in transportation, logistics, sales and
services spheres). This is expected to increase income inequality dramatically, and disrupt the
existing social order—societies of technologically-advanced countries (and gradually, all over
the world) will have to adapt to new conditions, seeking to create innovative workplaces and
occupations. So far, this looks more important and dramatic than the anticipated possibility to
have more time for leisure and hobbies.

Causes of Poverty
Although our world is developing at a rapid rate in terms of technology, and many problems
of the 20th century have been solved, there still are issues that humanity cannot deal with.
Among such challenges as hunger, wars, natural disasters, and pollution, poverty is one of the

most significant problems; in fact, it is a scourge of many developing countries. Therefore,
understanding and eliminating the reasons of why poverty is still present in the world is
When analyzing such a global issue, one should consider historical and cultural
factors. Nations that are among the poorest in the world were once colonies, or areas
from which richer countries exported slaves; also, some of these territories were drained
of resources.Rare exceptions like Canada or Australia do not deny the fact that, for example,
almost the entire continent of Africa is a problematic area in terms of poverty and hunger.
This happened due to the fact that colonialism contributed to the establishment of conditions
where people living in former colonies cannot access capital or education. In addition, there
exist several hot spots in the world where wars and political instability also cause a significant
decrease in the quality of life: Syria, Egypt, Ukraine, and so on (The Borgen Project).
Perhaps the most direct causal link exists between poverty and the balance between a
country’s population density and its agricultural capabilities. Although such countries as
the Netherlands or Belgium have a high density of population, their agricultural industry is
based on mechanized farming and high-tech solutions, so poverty and hunger have no chance
there. The same refers to other technologically-advanced countries. In contrast, Bangladesh,
which has one of the world’s largest population densities (2,791 persons in a square mile)
exists on the edge of extreme poverty—mostly because the majority of population is involved
in low-efficient manual farming. On the other hand, there are countries in Africa with only
about 80 persons per square mile, but because of low soil fertility, and the use of manual
labor, these countries cannot boost their productivity and development
Along with objective poverty factors, it is also important to consider social factors—in
particular, psychological traits that many poor people possess. In many developed countries,
poor people do not try to improve their financial conditions, relying on welfare payments
provided to them by governments (CliffsNotes). Due to the lack of education and skills (also
caused by the inability to pay for them), they cannot work at well-paid jobs, although they can
still become maids, cleaners, postal workers, couriers, and so on. Doing so would enable such
people to earn more money necessary for education and personal development, but they
prefer to keep the status quo.
Reasons of poverty are numerous, and it is difficult to analyze the entire complex of causes of
such a global issue. However, some of them are obvious: a colonial background, wars and
political instability, dense population combined with low agricultural capabilities, and certain
psychological traits of poor people. These factors help keep poverty in the world’s list of the
most urgent problems.


How social media affects family relationship
A family has, at most times, been seen as private territory. No matter what happened outside
of it—for example, at work or elsewhere—a family, in principle, is where many people can
share their problems, seek for solutions together, enjoy understanding and privacy. However,
as technologies have become more and more advanced, this private, intimate space has
shrunk. Today, in the era of social media, relationships in many families have changed,
since social media affects these relationships in a number of unexpected and sometimes
negative ways.
Looking from an optimistic perspective, children and parents have gained a powerful tool of
communication. Indeed, while communicating in person might be difficult for both teenagers
and their parents during the “teenage rioting” period, social networks provide a valuable
opportunity for communication. However, there is another side of the coin. About 30% of
people are now using all kinds of gadgets, including cell phones, tablets, and so on, to talk to
their loved ones through social media services, instead of having a conversation with them in
person. One person out of five admitted they learned what their family members were doing
by checking their statuses online, not by asking them personally—even though they might be
sitting in the next room
Moreover, a study on media influence done by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that
young people from the age of 8 to 18 years tend to spend about seven hours a day using
entertainment media, which makes a total of approximately 50 hours per week. This means
that during this time, they are not exercising, hanging out, communicating with their families,
or getting involved in intimate relationships. Such a lifestyle makes them gain extra weight,
get easily distracted, and develop difficulties in establishing interpersonal relationships,
including the relationships with parents, siblings, and other family members. The study
suggests such young people often tend to be mentally absent when being with a group of
friends or family (Huffington Post).
Yet another problem originating from social media is the real lack of privacy within
families.When there is a conflict, fight, regular problem, or even a happy event, one (and
sometimes both) of the spouses occasionally post about it on Facebook, or share this
information with the public in some other way. This leads to a transparency of relationships,
and thus its vulnerability; also, one of the spouses might be frustrated by the fact that intimate
details of their family life are being exposed to a large number of unfamiliar people. This
leads to additional conflicts, further posting about these conflicts in social media, and thus
creates an endless cycle of problems (IFR).


Social media possess many useful features, but in the case of family relationships, these
media services should be used with caution. According to different studies, teenagers widely
using social media tend to communicate with their family members in person much less often.
They may face difficulties connected to social adaptation and acceptance, as well as excessive
body weight and communication problems. Also, social media may be used by family
members to share the intimate details of family life with public; this can be frustrating for
family members.

Effects of Water Pollution
Industrial development and production in western first-world countries has long ago reached
the level where it is possible to dramatically affect the environment. Among such industryrelated problems as air pollution, soil contamination, radioactive waste, and so on, the
problem of low-quality water stands as one of the most pertinent in terms of its importance
for the survival of humankind. Therefore, information about the negative effects of water
pollution should be not only studied, but spread among the general populous, taken into
consideration, and prevented.
One of the most significant problems connected to poor water quality is that entire food
chains are drastically affected or even become extinct due to increased toxicity. Such
pollutants as lead or cadmium get into water, and contaminate microorganisms living in it.
These microorganisms are consumed by larger species—such as plankton—which, in their
turn, are eaten by even larger animals, and so on. Eventually, this chain leads to human
beings, because people all over the world consume fish and seafood. Thus, by polluting
oceans, people worsen their overall well being
Another problem connected to the contamination of water is the disruption of entire
ecosystems. An ecosystem is the way of interaction between creatures that inhabit a certain
area, and thus depend on each other. But, water pollution can severely damage the subtle
connections between the living species inhabiting certain environmental areas
(ESchoolToday). This, in its turn, leads to an increasing imbalance in the environment,
causing species to become extinct; every time an ecosystem suffers, it also affects the
condition of our planet in general, and thus, people living on it.
Perhaps the most significant damage from water pollution is connected to humans. For
instance, diseases like hepatitis are caused by eating contaminated seafood; developing
countries, which often have problems with the quality of water, experience frequent outbreaks
of cholera or diphtheria. If you swim in polluted water, it can cause you to develop skin
diseases, reproductive problems, typhoid fever, and so on. Moreover, sometimes it can cause


heavy metals or pesticide poisoning, because polluted water often contains mercury,
plumbum, insecticide, herbicides, and so on (TutorVista.com).
As it can be seen, water pollution leads to a number of serious, negative consequences. It
destroys animal species that inhabit seas and oceans, and disrupts existing food chains.
Water pollution also affects ecosystems in a negative way, destroying them and thus
affecting the ecological situation on Earth. These two factors have an indirect, but strong
effect on humanity. As for the direct effects, polluted water causes people to suffer from
cholera, diphtheria, skin diseases, reproductive problems, poisoning, and so on. All of
this means that humanity should pay attention to the problem of water contamination,
otherwise it will continue to severely hurt itself.

Major factors of Environmental Pollution
Among the problems that worry modern humanity the most, pollution is one of the most
worrisome. Though in the recent decades, people—especially in western countries such as the
U.S., Canada, and in European countries—have become more conscious about ecology, the
overall situation has not changed for the better. The present prominence of pollution has
happened due to a number of major factors that have significantly spoiled the environment
and decreased the outcomes of people’s efforts to make our planet a cleaner place.
The first and foremost factor leading to pollution is industrial production—this includes
excavating fossils and raw materials from the depths of the planet, as well as their
further refinement, and emissions from factories and energy plants, such as carbon
monoxide, hydrocarbons, and organic compounds. In particular, petroleum, which is
refined from fossils, in its process of refinement, releases hydrocarbons and other chemicals
that pollute the air and soil (Conserve Energy Future). Refineries and factories are allocated
all around the world, and the excavation of fossils is crucial for civilization to exist, so the
scales of pollution caused by industry are—and possibly will remain—enormous.
Livestock farming and timber production are the second major reason why pollution
keeps spreading around the planet. The modern agricultural sector consumes vast amounts
of resources, at the same time producing tons of waste. For example, in order to grow cereal
and other plants, extremely harmful fertilizers are being used widely. These chemicals affect
the environment, as well as human health, in a negative way. In addition, timber production
causes global deforestation, and this leads directly to the increase of the carbon dioxide share
in the atmosphere (Tropical-Rainforest-Animals).
Yet another factor of environmental pollution is what is usually called household chemicals.
Many people unconsciously contribute to massive atmosphere pollution without even
knowing it. Fumigating homes, household cleaning products and painting supplies, insect

and pest repellents, refrigerator liquids, deodorants, hairspray, and other similar
products pollute air every day.
As we can see, all of the major pollution factors are connected to the results of human
activity. Industrial production and consumption, the excavation and refinement of fossils,
agriculture and timber production, as well as household chemicals, pollute the environment
greatly. The control of pollution is in our hands—we now have the great responsibility to
restore our planet back to normalcy.

Negative Effects of Laziness
Sometimes, an urge to rest passively is overwhelming; the most common reason for this is
fatigue, as the fast pace of metropolitan life requires people to push themselves to the limit on
a daily basis. In such cases, there is nothing wrong with a wish to spend several calm hours
doing nothing. However, there is a category of people whose entire lifestyle can be described
by the slang phrase “couch potato.” Mostly, such people prefer to act as passive spectators of
life, and though the masses do not consider laziness to be significant misconduct—treating it
mostly as a forgivable weakness—this personality trait can cause severe negative effects both
on an individual and on his or her surroundings.
A definition provided by Oxford Dictionaries describes laziness as the quality of being
unwilling to work or use energy; and while unwillingness to work seems to affect only one
sphere of an individual’s life—his or her career—having no intention to spend one’s energy
seems to have a negative impact in multiple areas.
Laziness negatively affects an individual’s relationships with their boss and/or
colleagues, due to certain behavioral standards that lazy people usually develop at
work. In particular, lazy people tend to handover their work to someone else, often because of
knowing that other people are more responsible workers and will accomplish additional tasks
anyways; lazy people often procrastinate, justifying themselves by various reasons, or getting
distracted by less important and more enjoyable tasks; besides, lethargic individuals develop a
habit of complaining about their circumstances, or to put themselves in a favorable light and
show that they work harder than their colleagues, but are undervalued (LifePaths 360). These,
as well as other behavioral patterns usually result into the loss of a job, with the followup of
anxiety, depression, and other psychic disturbances. In this case, the situation is twice as
worse for such a person, as they may, due to their indifference, hesitate to look for a new job,
preferring to justify themselves and feel miserable, thus only aggravating their psychological

Another negative aspect of being lazy is connected to physical health. It is not a secret that
lethargic people are physically less active than those who prefer to throw themselves into the
span of life; logically, idle people spend more time without movement. According to a recent
study by Tel Aviv University, being inactive causes one’s fat cells (those which already
exist in the body) to become larger; in other words, an inactive lifestyle not only
contributes into an individual gaining extra weight, but also makes the situation with
their already existing fat cells worse (Fitday). Moreover, the bad news is that the negative
effects of leisure time spent in a nonconstructive way cannot be negated by physical exercises
—in other words, the damage dealt to one’s body by hours spent in laziness is irreversible. In
its turn, extra fat can result into obesity with all its intrinsic health issues.
Laziness can affect the entire life of an individual. Because they are unwilling to make an
active effort in regard to the important spheres of life, lethargic people miss numerous
opportunities that life offers them every day. Though a person may think they are too tired to
step out of their comfort zone, they comfort themselves by promising to do it later, or
justifying themselves in any other way—in fact, all these thoughts and obstacles are an
illusion. During the thousands of years of evolution human bodies and minds have become
pinpointed for active performance; human beings need new experiences, physical activity,
emotional charges, and discharging to function properly and to feel well. By being lethargic, a
person denies themselves of this, and excludes themselves from the course of life, which
leads to mental stagnation and intellectual degradation.
Laziness can be called one of the scourges of the modern world. Though often seen simply as
a forgivable weakness, it can have a number of negative effects on a person. In terms of these
consequences, it should be mentioned that laziness often leads to the worsening of one’s
relationships at work and decreased work performance, which can result into job loss,
excessive stress, and psychic disturbance. Also, laziness and the stated inactive lifestyle leads
to irreversible health damage. Ultimately, laziness results in mental stagnation and intellectual

Impacts of Technology on Modern Children
Digital-age children, even down to the very youngest, divide their time between three major
innovations: television, computers, and video games, but is there harm in children spending
increasing amounts of time engaging in media-related activities? There are no easy answers in
this highly-technological 21st century; parents need to consider all digital media in order to
determine what is best for their child. Well-known journalist Marie Winn (2002) states,
“Today sensible parents tend to lump the various electronic technologies into one category.
They talk about ‘screen activities’ and ‘screen time’” (p. 196). Dr. Larry Rosen, as quoted by


associate editor of Mashable magazine Stephanie Buck (2011) “There is a very real
possibility of overdoing it . . . Technology must be chosen correctly” (p. 1).
Many inventions have changed and shaped modern society; however, the impact of these
advances has been primarily on adults. In contrast, the technological development that has
had the most profound effect on children was the introduction of television (Winn, 2002, p.
283). From the earliest years, parents have worried about what television viewing might be
doing to their children’s development. Young children learn by playing; first they imitate what
they observe, and then they evolve into purposeful pretending in which they create a world
they can control and manipulate. As children age, they move from parallel play to actual
interaction with others. They learn by doing. Television, however, is a passive activity. Instead
of creating and manipulating, the child assumes a more passive role that often takes the place
of play. Instead of actively manipulating their environment and actively acquiring language,
the children simply watch. Interestingly, Bittman et al. (2011) conclude it is not so much
the time spent watching television that influences children’s acquisition of language
from birth to age four, as much as the amount of parental involvement and
interaction (p. 171). Other studies have indicated that this early TV viewing does have a
negative impact on language acquisition and vocabulary development that can even carry
over into later school years (Winn, 2002, p. 285).
If parents are concerned that children are being heavily influenced by television, sometimes it
seems to be a concern that they do not have enough exposure to computers. Spurred by what
Winn (2002) calls “canny marketing” (p. 190) parents are buying software designed for
younger and younger children. “Manufacturers’ advertisements preyed on parental anxieties
about their kids’ development… and their desires to give their offspring an educational
jumpstart” (Winn, 2002, p. 190). Parents feel compelled to expose younger and younger
children to developmental software in an effort to ensure they will not be left behind
academically or socially. Buck (2011) however cites a study that links the overuse of
technology to a change in brain development (p. 2). “Human connection, eye contact and
dialogue are paramount. Devices are hugely limiting this important exposure” leading to an
increase in mental illnesses and a change in even the formation of the brain, particularly the
frontal lobe” (Buck, 2011, p. 2). Quite the opposite was reported by Bittman et al. (2011),
who found that the effect of the “use of computers in infancy appears to be negligible . . .
computer access (but not computer games) at later ages was associated with increased
traditional literacy” (p. 172).
Interestingly, Winn (2002) feels that while it is not the same as interacting with peers, video
games do allow children to be less passive. “Kids get to do something, and something
happens as a result” (p. 194). This is offset, however, by the development of an expectation of
instant gratification. Children who are used to video interaction “may not be willing to make
the long, arduous efforts necessary to play an instrument well or excel at a sport” (Winn,

2002, p. 195). There also appears to be an addictive element as well. Winn (2002) cites a
study done at Hammersmith Hospital in London that found that playing video games doubles
the brain’s production of dopamine, equivalent to the amount that can come from an injection
of a powerful stimulant (p. 195).
The problem remains for parents to decide how much screen time they want their children to
have. Studies provide conflicting information about the positive and negative effects of
television, computers, and video games. The reality remains that digital-age children will be
exposed to electronic media; to expect to be able to raise a child away from all these
influences is unrealistic, if not impossible. Bittman concludes that “the intriguing prospect
that it is not ‘exposure’ to media that harms language acquisition . . . , but the absence of ageappropriate, guided interaction by parents” (p. 172). Perhaps there is no substitute for sound

The Beneficial Effects of Music
Music is a form of art which has accompanied humankind since the origins of our species.
Starting from the early primitive instruments used by our cave-dwelling ancestors, and ending
up with modern synthesizers and computer programs that create new musical sounds, human
beings have constantly tried to surround themselves with music. It gradually became more
complex, as well as the instruments on which it was performed. Research has shown that
music can positively impact plants and animals, and scientists discovered that it can also
provide beneficial effects to human health; today, music therapy is a popular and effective
way of treating psychological disorders. So, what are the positive effects of music on the
human brain and human health?
Music can decrease the risks of heart attack and stroke. Music has been found to lower
blood pressure; changes in the “autonomic” nervous system, such as breathing and heart rate
can also be altered by music (Tryon Daily Bulletin). This helps to create a so-called
“relaxation response,” which counteracts the damaging effects of chronic stress. Music
contributes to the release of endorphins, which are protein molecules produced by the nervous
system that works with sedative receptors in the brain. They improve mood, boost the
immune system, reduce eating disorder symptoms, and help fight cancer. In this respect,
music has powerful positive effects on the functioning of the human body.
Music also affects the way our brain functions. It is reported that easy-listening and
classical music improves the duration and intensity of concentration in all age groups and
ability levels (eMed Expert). At the same time, another research study has shown that music
with a strong beat stimulates brain waves to resonate with them. In other words, the faster the
beat is, the sharper concentration becomes, and thinking becomes more alert (Tryon Daily

Bulletin). Listening to music also helps people recall information; certain types of music can
serve as strong “keys,” supposedly forming a strong connection between emotions they evoke
and the information, which can be recalled much easier during playing back the song which
was being played during the process of learning (eMed Expert).
Music also performs several social functions, which are usually omitted when talking about
its effects. Music today is an extremely popular and available form of entertainment;
people of all ages attend concerts of their favorite bands and singers, and share the same
positive emotions there. However, they can share the same emotions in everyday life; simply
talking about music, even if the interlocutors have just met and have different preferences, can
help them establish communication faster and easier. Youth are often grouped in fan-clubs and
subcultures, which also helps young people to socialize.
Music is one of the most ancient forms of art, and one of the most beneficial for human
beings as well. Music deals powerful, positive effects on the human body, reducing risks of
heart diseases, cancers, enhancing the immune system, and reducing chronic stress. It also
helps our brain function better by increasing its cognitive abilities, attention, memory, and
concentration. In addition, music is a factor of socialization and facilitates establishing
communication with unfamiliar people and socialization.

Problems that arise from alcohol advertising
Various facets of a society, be it the youth, mature adults, or even children are constantly
exposed to complex and often conflicting messages about alcohol usage (Gorg 546). Alcohol
advertising indirectly causes many societal problems that need to be dealt with. However, one
can identify three major issues that need to be addressed, namely the over-consumption of
alcohol, underage drinking, and the perception of a negative body image.
Some experts link excessive alcohol consumption with an increased exposure of the
population to advertisements for alcohol. Alcohol advertisements broadcasted on television—
especially on sports channels—have been identified as being the most effective. They make
the largest contribution to the rate of growth of alcohol consumption compared to any other
type of publicity, such as magazine and billboard advertisements (Longman 56). Overconsumption of strong spirits, such as whiskey, vodka, and gin can readily lead to a
crippling dependence on alcohol, debilitating illnesses, and even premature
death. Further social consequences that need to be factored in include divorce, domestic
violence, and bankruptcy.
Another issue unequivocally associated with alcohol advertising is the relentless rise in
underage drinking. In the USA, as well as in many other countries, a person is only legally
permitted to consume strong alcoholic drinks when they are 21 years old. However, according

to scientific research, many young people begin to consume alcohol at a much younger age
(Reese 456). This phenomenon, encouraged by judicious advertising, is supported, for
example, by a specific college culture that promotes binge drinking and wild parties (Reese
454). In some countries of Eastern Europe, it has been reported that young people use or even
abuse alcohol well before they enter college.
The stereotypical and racy sexual imagery projected by advertisements that actively promote
alcohol consumption raise significant moral and ethical issues. One of the primary target
audiences of alcohol advertisements is the single, young man. Advertisements aimed at
this category often include “controversial content” such as scantily-clad women (Gorg
195). Not only young men, but also young women watch these advertisements. Women tend
to compare themselves to the models featured in the commercials. The impossibly perfect,
photoshopped models in advertisements often lead “a normal young woman” to perceive her
own body image to be somehow inadequate (Gorg 237). In the real world, this is simply not
the case; there are all sorts of shapes and bodily sizes of attractive women. Sadly, a
psychological disease termed dysmorphophobia, a dysmorphic syndrome or a body
dysmorphic disorder has been classified. It is characterized by a hostility towards one’s own
body and by the owner perceiving their body to be defective in some way or even ugly.
Companies that produce alcohol, as well as advertising agencies, are generally more
concerned with promoting a certain brand than with the ethical consequences of their actions
(Longman 24). Besides, alcohol companies argue that they have a right to advertise in the
most effective way possible in order to generate sales (Reese 353). However, negative effects
of alcohol advertising are worth considering, as they cause social and personal problems, such
as alcohol over-consumption, underage drinking, and negative body image.


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