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5 Biggest Impacts Of The 21st Century

5 Biggest Impacts Of The 21st Century

Pre-Reading Vocabulary; 
1)  elephant in the room 
2)  a double-edged sword 
3) the straw that broke the camel's back 
4) the tip of the iceberg 
5)  a Pandora's box 


a) a small, visible part of a much larger problem or issue that is not immediately apparent.

b) a problem or issue that is obvious but is being ignored or avoided because it is difficult, awkward, or uncomfortable to address.

c) a situation or thing that, once opened or initiated, creates unforeseeable and often negative consequences that cannot be undone.

d) a small, seemingly insignificant action or event that, when combined with other factors, leads to a sudden and dramatic change or outcome.

e) something that has both positive and negative effects or consequences.

Answers revealed at the bottom. 




The 21st century has brought about significant advancements in technology, medicine, and science, but it has also seen the rise of several negative factors that have affected civilization. Here are five things that have had a negative impact on civilization in the 21st century.

"The elephant in the room":
Climate change is the elephant in the room that everyone seems to be aware of but is reluctant to address. Rising temperatures, melting ice caps, and extreme weather conditions are just some of the effects of climate change that have caused widespread damage to the environment and human lives.

"A double-edged sword": 
The internet is a double-edged sword that has revolutionized communication, commerce, and entertainment. However, it has also led to the rise of cyberbullying, fake news, and online addiction, which have had a detrimental effect on mental health and social relationships.

"The straw that broke the camel's back":
The COVID-19 pandemic has been the straw that broke the camel' s back, exposing the vulnerabilities of healthcare systems, economies, and societies. The pandemic has resulted in millions of deaths, job losses, and social isolation, highlighting the need for better preparedness and cooperation in the face of global crises.


"The tip of the iceberg":
Inequality is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the negative impact on civilization. The widening gap between the rich and poor, discrimination, and social injustice are just some of the underlying issues that have led to social unrest, violence, and conflicts.

"A Pandora's box":
Artificial intelligence is a Pandora's box that has the potential to change the course of civilization. While AI has the potential to solve some of the world's most pressing problems, such as disease, poverty, and climate change, it also poses risks such as job displacement, privacy violations, and even existential threats.

"In Summary"
In conclusion, these five idiomatic expressions illustrate how climate change, the internet, the COVID-19 pandemic, inequality, and artificial intelligence have had a negative impact on civilization in the 21st century. It is important to acknowledge these challenges and work towards solutions that ensure a sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future for all.

Discussion Questions: 
1) How can we address the issue of climate change, which is often seen as too big to tackle?
2) What steps can individuals take to mitigate the negative effects of the internet on mental health and social relationships?
3) How can societies better prepare for global crises, such as pandemics or natural disasters?
4) What actions can be taken to red
uce the widening gap between the rich and poor and address social injustices?
5) What are some ethical considerations that need to be taken into account when developing and implementing artificial intelligence technologies?
6) Can you give some examples of how the five idioms we learned
can be used?

Vocabulary Answer: 
1 --- B
2 --- E
3 --- D
4 --- A
5 --- C

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