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Views #1342 | High-Intermediate 6

Dialed In vs Unplugged

Paul and Aimee talk about how often they look at digital content and if they can go without it.


Aimee: So Paul, speaking of technology, how long do you think you can go without checking your phone?

Paul: Ah, it’s quite embarrassing, really, if I’m honest, I check it a lot. I really do, like I’m always having to look at Facebook, my emails. I’m looking at the football news online… yeah, I mean ….It’s not something that I’m proud about; but it’s something that, yeah, it’s quite a big part of my life, I think.

Aimee: If you left the house and you had forgotten your phone, would you feel something really missing?

Paul: I did actually I forgot my…I use my iPad a lot, and I forgot my iPad the other day just as I was leaving, and my bus was about to arrive. And I really had the strong like pull to get back for it. But I caught myself and decided that yeah, I can manage without it, you know, for one day.

Aimee: Could you manage?

Paul: Yeah, I did, I didn’t even think about it actually. It was just that you know, that sort of momentary pull where I thought I needed it, and then actually having you know, sort of considered it seriously. It was like, I don’t need it, so yeah, I did find without it I didn’t have to be like hooked up to a life support system or anything. Yeah, it’s amazing really, how it comes to be such a central part in your life. How long do you think you could go without using the internet?

Aimee: Ahh, I check my phone thousands of times a day… To exaggerate, did I say thousands? I check it too much, I think, far too much. If I left my home, I would feel gutted. I would feel like I’m really, really missing something. It would definitely be a big, big pull, I think. I read a lot of things on the internet and I check things and, and yeah. When it’s not there, then I do feel like something is maybe I should be doing something, or missing out on something. And it’s not good - I’m embarrassed it’s not good at all. So I think I need to work on unplugging.

Paul: I’ve heard a lot of people they try to do at least one or two days a week when they don’t use the internet at all. But that sounds like it could be quite a good idea. You know, maybe just you know, unplug.

Aimee: Yeah. Do you think you could?

Paul: I think I could, yeah, I think I could. In fact, I really like hiking and being outdoors, and, I think one of the things I really love about it is that I’m … nobody can contact me, you know? And I’m kinda away from everything. And I really enjoy those moments.

Aimee: Uhm, yeah. I don’t know if I could. I always have to cut down before going cold turkey, I think, I’ve got to cut down. I’m trying to cut down. You know, I mentioned before, I’m trying to get back into reading uhm, just get back into real books instead of screen time. So, yeah, I couldn’t go cold turkey, I think, a couple of days a week. I would need to cut down.

Paul: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I think we should probably yeah, make a concerted effort I think it is probably good for us to try to reduce our, you know, user time.

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary

catch yourself


I caught myself.

When you catch yourself, you realize you need to change your behavior. Notice the following:

  1. I was getting angry, but I caught myself and calmed down.
  2. In conversations, you sometimes need to catch yourself and be careful what you say.

manage without


I can manage without it.

When you can manage without something, you do not need it. Notice the following:

  1. I think we can manage without your help.
  2. I cannot manage without coffee.



To exaggerate, did I say thousands?

When you exaggerate, you stretch the truth to sound more interesting. Notice the following:

  1. He tends to exaggerate his job history.
  2. We all exaggerate our stories sometimes.



I need to unplug.

Unplug means to remove oneself from digital and electronic devices. Notice the following:

  1. On the weekend I try to unplug.
  2. With smart phones, it is hard to completely unplug.

cold turkey


I have to cut down before going cold turkey,

When you go cold turkey, you completely remove something addictive from your life. Notice the following:

  1. It is hard to stop smoking cold turkey.
  2. I cannot stop eating sugar cold turkey. I need to reduce it little by little each day.

concerted effort


We should probably make a concerted effort.

A concerted effort is a serious attempt to do something. Notice the following:

  1. We made a concerted effort to use less energy.
  2. He made a concerted effort to be more polite.

Vocabulary Quiz

manage • exaggerate • unplug
cold turkey • catch • concerted
  1. When do from technology?
  2. Could you quit sugar ?
  3. Do you sometimes yourself doing something bad?
  4. Do you sometimes when talking?
  5. Could you without your phone?
  6. Are you making a effort to read more?

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1341 E-Mail Overload
#1341 E-Mail Overload
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Video 1342
Can you go with no phone?
Video 1341
How often do you check email?

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1344 The Gilded Cage
#1344 The Gilded Cage
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1343 Dallas Buyers Club
#1343 Dallas Buyers Club
Michael talks about a serious topic.


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