Model Answer - IELTS (Task 2)

In the past, shopping was a routine domestic task. Many people nowadays regard it as a hobby.
To what extent do you think this is a positive trend?

As the standard of living in many countries was not as high as it is today and most citizens were not wealthy, many households carried out shopping for the sole purpose of purchasing weekly necessities. Shopping trolleys and baskets were smaller and usually it was the woman’s task to go to the grocery store and stock up on what the family required.

Today this has all changed with advertising, marketing, mass production and the rise in popularity of consumerism. Shopping has become a favourite pastime for many consumers. Shoppers not only crowd into covered shopping centres and malls to buy products but combine this activity with other options like drinking coffee, watching movies etc. For this reason it is seen as a good way to spend your day.

This may regarded as a positive trend by shopaholics who enjoy spending their free time purchasing products, window shoppers, people who enjoy keeping up with the latest trends, shoppers who like walking around shopping districts as a form of exercise and of course manufacturers who stock shops with products. If shopping has come to be a hobby then this means that people also enjoy a higher standard of living.

Others however may view this shift in shopping habits negatively as they believe that it leads to unnecessary waste, social pressure to keep up with trends or that free time could be used more creatively.

To conclude, current shopping offers more choice and is more enjoyable than routinely buying necessities. It is a matter of personal preference how a person choses to spend their free time and shopping is one of the many options available.
Question taken from Cambridge IELTS Trainer p.90
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