IELTS Speaking Part 3 – Childhood Friendship
IELTS Speaking Part 3 – Childhood Friendship
Do you still keep in touch with your childhood friends? If so, why, and if not, why not?
Luckily, many of my childhood friends also attended the same middle and high schools as me, so I have the chance to stay in touch with them. Although we aren’t as close as we used to be, we still manage to exchange messages and say hello from time to time. However, our relationship isn’t as tight-knit as it once was.
Unfortunately, I lost touch with my childhood friends after high school. We went our separate ways – I went to one college, while some of my friends went to another. Despite exchanging messages during festivals, I don’t have any recent information about them. I don’t even know how they’re doing or what they’re up to.
It’s fortunate that most of my childhood friends followed the same path as me – our parents decided that we should all attend the same high school and then the same university. Fortunately, we all passed our exams, even though we weren’t on the same course. As a result, we’re still very close. In fact, that’s one of the best things about our friendship – we talk more about our shared experiences and struggles than about ourselves as individuals.
How important is childhood friendship for children?
I believe that childhood friendship is crucial to a child’s development. This is based on my personal experience of not having any friends while growing up. Children who lack friendships may struggle to work with others as they grow up. When I was young, I never considered anyone as a friend, so when I entered college, it was really hard for me to make friends compared to other people. So, I would say that childhood friendships are very important.
As a father, I can attest to the importance of childhood friendships. Since my daughter is an only child, she cannot acquire relationships with siblings, so having friends from school is essential for her. I can see that having friends has helped her become more socially adept, and she communicates well with her peers. Even at the age of seven, I can see that early exposure to friendships has helped her become more articulate in expressing her emotions.
What do you think of communicating via social media?
As a millennial, I didn’t grow up with social media, but it has become convenient for us. Before, in order to make plans, you had to set them up ahead of time and communicate through a landline or parents’ phone numbers. But with social media, you can make last-minute changes and still communicate quickly. However, this also means that people are no longer required to stick to their plans as communication is so easy. This is something that younger people might not understand.
As a teenager, social media is the norm, and we consider ourselves digital natives since we have grown up with it. Some parents might say that social media promotes laziness, but I disagree. I think social media is just a norm for faster communication with other people.
Do you think online communication through social media will replace face-to-face communication?
Absolutely not. The perfect example of this is during the COVID pandemic. People were still connected online, but you could see how depressed they were when they couldn’t see other people face-to-face, despite the availability of online communication. As humans, we are social beings who like to be with our own kind. We enjoy being in a crowd where we feel love and happiness. Although social media may dominate to some degree, especially for work or when working abroad, it will never eradicate the idea of face-to-face communication because it is innate and ingrained in us.
What’s the difference between having younger friends and older friends?
I am fortunate to have friends who are both younger and older than me. My youngest friend is around 24 years old, while my oldest is 74. One of the differences I have noticed is that when I talk to younger people, most of their problems seem trivial to me because I have already experienced and conquered similar issues. When I talk to my younger friend, I feel like an expert in that area and can offer valuable knowledge. This is quite relaxing because it is not as mentally taxing compared to when I talk to my older friends. I have more older friends, and when they talk about their struggles growing up, having a family, and having grandchildren, it gives me anxiety because it makes me think about my future and the challenges that lie ahead. Although it can be fun to reminisce and look back, thinking about the future can be overwhelming. I am not sure if it is appropriate to say this, but one of my older friends died alone, and it made me feel sad because it made me realize that as I get older, I may find myself in the same situation.
Has technology changed people’s friendships? How?
Yes, Technology has drastically changed the way people establish and maintain friendships. In the past, building a friendship required investing time and effort. It was like a dating game where both individuals would try to present their best selves until acceptance was gained. However, with the advent of social media, the process has changed. Now, you can check a potential friend’s profile to see if they fit your criteria for a good person or someone you would prefer to be friends with. You can also peruse their list of friends to determine whether they would be a suitable acquaintance or a better friend.
However, topics like politics and religion can cause conflict in friendships. If you have differing beliefs from someone you are trying to befriend, it may lead to the eventual dissolution of the friendship.
Another observation is that in the past, when friends drifted apart, there was an attempt to repair the relationship. With social media and technology, it is easy to unfriend someone or move on, which can lead to incomplete endings. Unfortunately, technology has made it so easy to establish and sever friendships that they no longer hold the same value as before.
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Ian Tanpiuco is an ESL and virtual assistant. With a decade of experience, he has become an expert in his field. Dedicated to helping others achieve their goals, Ian works tirelessly in the classroom or as a virtual assistant.