Leaving Cert English: Sample Essay Paper 1 2011


 2011 Paper One: Write an article for a popular magazine in which you outline your views about the impact of technology on the lives of young people.

In the recovery position. Taking deep breaths. Drinking sweet tea. Life flashing before my eyes. Suddenly, the lights on the machine begin to flash….. The WIFI has returned! I duly remove myself from the floor and send Snapchats about the horrendous experience. Indeed, I truly believe that technology hugely impacts the lives of young people today.  In this article I will discuss the impact of technology on the everyday lives of young people today in relation to family life, fashion sense, relationships and education.

Firstly, I certainly believe that technology has a rather mixed effect on the family lives of young people today. Indeed, I can extol the merits of technology in many aspects of my own family life. Many of my peers can resonate with the relief of using one’s phone to evade the dreaded unwanted questioning from relatives about “future plans”, as well as welcoming the arrival of Snapchat to alleviate the risk of questionable photographs appearing near the eagle eyes of overly-eager distant relations on Facebook. However, I must also admit that I am equally sceptical about the potential negative impact of technology on our aforementioned family relations. Of course, young people have all heard tales of family feuds arising from the incapacity of an innocent parent to take a photo suitable for the high standards of Instagram. As well as this, my own uncle James is still offended that my “family selfie” attempt at a family party last year resulted in half his head missing from the photo.  And don’t get me started on my aunt Mary getting offended by my decision to use filters on the photograph….

However, I feel that technology has a very positive influence upon the education of young people. Thanks to Youtube, my own education has improved- I can now complete a “Kim Kardashian” style eye shadow application in less than fifteen minutes, all while simultaneously flicking between three Netflix shows. As well as this, my own mathematical skills have improved as I lurk between online “tabs” and try to calculate if my online banking account will allow for the purchasing of my ever alluring “Missguided” shopping basket. As a Leaving Certificate student I can only hope that the “note sharing” of myself and my friends through Facebook messenger will be beneficial for my own grades. If not, I’ll just have to become a blogger…

I also believe that technology extends a mainly positive influence on the friendships and relationships of young people today. Despite the fact that we young people have all heard horror stories about the need to communicate through postmen and carrier pigeons years ago, technology has thankfully granted us with the capacity to stay in contact at all times. As well as this, I believe that technology has many romantic benefits for young people. As a child, I shuddered as I heard about my parents’ romance blossoming in the elusive dance halls of years past, whilst remaining simultaneously sceptical about the realistic arrival of a local Ryan Gosling line dancing in my GAA club. Thankfully technology and the arrival of Facebook, Whatsapp and Tinder have reduced the need to foxtrot your way to a reluctant local romance in a sweaty dance hall. Rather, teenagers nowadays can be confident in blossoming Tinder romances- and didn’t I hear that Facebook now has a proposal button?

Finally, it is essential to discuss the impact of technology upon the fashion sense of young people. Before the internet granted us with the ability to order clothes from faraway lands, my understanding of any clothing purchased beyond our local shopping centre was a knitted jumper from the Aran Islands. Thanks to technology, young people can immediately order Pippa O’Connor approved outfits at the click of a button (I’m still waiting on the “Pippa O’Connor face” order button to appear). Of course, the online shopping system is not without its fault. Only last week I received a dress that I had, admittedly, ordered from China two years previous- regretfully a dress that Pippa O’Connor has deemed “very last season” on her blog. My grandmother, ever sceptical about “Chinese packages” has since deemed me very “continental.” I’ll thank technology for that “compliment”….

In summary, it’s clear that technology has an enormous influence on the lives of young people today. While this impact is mostly a positive one, I still continue to dedicate prayers to Steve Jobs every morning in order to hopefully prevent any mass technology breakdowns in my house anytime soon. In the meantime, I recommend all readers to pop over to the magazine’s Youtube channel to subscribe to our new “vegan food in five minutes” series. And my mother says that I can’t boil an egg….


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