Views #1470 | Intermediate (B1)

Media - Then and Now

Meg and Todd compare media in the past and present.

Meg: Hey Todd, so continuing talking about then and now, I was thinking we could switch to talking about just life in general.

Todd: Sounds good.

Meg: So my first question for you is are movies today more interesting than before?

Todd: Well. I'm gonna sound like an old guy, but I would say no, movies are not more interesting today. Movies were much better, twenty, thirty years ago. The stories were better. They were more interesting. These days movies just have too much special effects, and there's too many movies about superheroes. I hate movies about superheroes. So yeah, I think movies used to be more interesting. What do you think?

Meg: I have the opposite opinion of you. I think movies today are more interesting than before. Maybe I'm too used to a lot of special effects, so when I watch some older movies, the story might be interesting, but I get a little bored watching it and actually I love superhero movies.

Todd: Oh really?

Meg: So I would say that yes, any superhero movies - Spider man or Batman especially is my favorite so those movies for me are more interesting than in the past.

Todd: OK, well we're talking about comparatives, so who's cooler Batman or Spider-Man?

Meg: Oh, Batman. Hands down.

Todd: I'm sorry. I think Spider-Man's really lame. I've never liked Spider-Man

Meg: He kind of whines a lot.

Todd: He looks like a kid in his pajamas.

Meg: He is a kid in his pajamas.

Todd: Maybe that's it.

Meg: Whereas Batman has a lot of skills that he's developed himself, so.

Todd: True, true. OK, well how about Batman, so like who is better?

Meg: Who is the best Batman?

Todd: Yeah, so who is better? Who was the last one? It was ...

Meg: Well, the most recent Batman was Ben Affleck, but I didn't watch that one

Todd: OK.

Meg: So before that, there was Christian Bale

Todd: Oh, that's right.

Meg: So without having seen Ben Affleck, I would still say that Christian Bale was a better Batman.

Todd: Yeah, I'm sure. I'm sure. OK, so let's talk about other things. How about the news? With news are you more knowledgeable these days than before, say five ten years ago?

Meg: Actually, I think I am less knowledgeable than before. There's a lot of news out there, and it's easy to access the news but there's so much news coming from so many sources, I'm now sure which news service is more trustworthy, so I think it's more difficult now to find the correct news. The true news. What do you think?

Todd: I agree. Sadly I think I am less knowledgeable because before I would read the newspaper, or I would read magazine articles or I would listen to better news stories on the news. These days I just look at a Facebook headline and I don't even read the article, so I don't even know what's going on sometimes. Which is terrible for a man my age.

Meg: Terrible for anyone I think.

Todd: Yeah, I think it's because I think the news was more honest than before, than now, sorry. I think the news is less honest these days. It used to be more honest. I just don't trust the news anymore.

Meg: Yeah, I don't really trust it either.

Todd: Yeah, less trustworthy.

Meg: So along those lines, would you say social media makes like better or worse for people?

Todd: I think it's both, like I think it's you know, three points better, two points worse, so it's a negative. It's better because you can keep track of so many family members, especially if you're far away, so I like how it connects people, yeah, it just makes people sad sometimes, or makes them frustrated about their life maybe, so yeah, I don't think it makes life better. But I'm an old guy, so...

Meg: Yeah, I think it's true. I think there are scientific studies to show that because of social media, people compare themselves too much so it's quite appropriate that we are talking about comparison because people will see other people's lives on social media that look quite good and they will compare themselves and feel bad about themselves, o for some people I think it has made it worse, but like you, I agree that some points are better like seeing pictures from my family.

Todd: Yeah, so true.

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

life in general


We could talk about just life in general.

Life in general refers to everyday life. Notice the following:

  1. Let's talk about life in general.
  2. We just talked about life in general.

opposite opinion


I have the opposite opinion of you.

When you have the opposite opinion, you disagree with someone. Notice the following:

  1. He says it is healthy. I have the opposite opinion.
  2. I like him, but my wife has the opposite opinion.

hands down


Oh, Batman. Hands down.

We use the phase hands down to show that a choice is easy to make. Notice the following:

  1. I prefer coffee, hands down, to tea.
  2. Summer is hands down my favorite season.



He kind of whines a lot.

When you whine about something, you complain about it. Notice the following:

  1. He whines about everything.
  2. You need to stop whining.

for a man my age | for his age


Which is terrible for a man my age.

This phrase, for a person my age, means you should act according to your age. Notice the following:

  1. That outfit is not good for a man his age.
  2. His hobby is strange for a man his age.

along those lines


So along those lines, is social media bad for people?

Here, along those lines means concerning or in relation to. Notice the following:

  1. Along those lines, I agree with you.
  2. Along those lines, what do you think?

Vocabulary Quiz

life in general • opposite opinion • hands down
whining • for his age • along those lines
  1. After the official count, he won the election .
  2. He keeps on about the slow internet connection.
  3. Even with an , we had a healthy conversation.
  4. He looks young .
  5. Being a happy-go-lucky person, she only wants to talk about .
  6. , do you think that there may be life outside the Earth?

Related Video - One Minute English

More English Listening Lessons for Language Learners
1479 Meg
1470 Media - Then and Now
Comparing movies and news eras.
1469 Meg
1469 Life - Then and Now
Comparing life past and present

1468 Katie
1468 My English Town
Katie talks about her town in England.
1467 Katie
1467 My English Family
Katie talks about her family.
1466 Todd
1466 Body Idioms Part 2
Meg and Todd discuss common idioms.

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Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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