Over 1.6m Irish people now use smartphones

An estimated 1.2m Irish people are expected to own a tablet computer by the end of the year, as tablet ownership has doubled in the last six months.

According to the latest biannual Eircom Household Sentiment Survey, Irish people are now embracing technology in almost every facet of their lives.

The study found Irish people now have a desire to stay connected to the internet 24/7, with almost 1m people admitting to checking emails first thing in the morning.

More than 250,000 now check work emails while on holidays.

The survey also found that the need to be constantly connected also extends to evenings and weekends, with more than half of those surveyed revealing they won’t and can’t switch off.

Irish households are now a network of online users with an average of four devices that connect to the internet available in every home.

Smartphone usage has also dramatically increased here with more than 1.6m people now using smartphones.

As a result of increased smartphone usage and the multiple functions available on a single device, 71% of those surveyed said they do not miss digital cameras and 63% can live without iPods and portable MP3 players.

With increased access to the internet, it has become the holy grail for accessing information, with 63% using the internet to diagnose symptoms when ill and 37% having searched online for DIY tips.

People are also demanding more and more online access while they are on the go, with 71% using their smartphone while sitting in the car and 51% on public transport.

While at home, people also use their smartphone outside of the conventional spaces in the house with 33% admitting to using it in the bathroom, 78% in the bedroom, and 27% while on the toilet.

But the study also found that social media fatigue is on the rise, with 28% claiming that they are getting tired of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Clinical psychologist David Coleman, who worked on the study, said the increasingly online nature of everyday life means that how people interact has changed forever.

“Whether it’s talking to friends or emailing work colleagues, how we engage and converse has changed forever.

“The older generation are of the opinion that we have lost the art of conversation, the younger generation have a more optimistic viewpoint, believing that the art of conversation is not lost but just changing by using new ways to converse.

“The report also highlights an interesting divide around the issue of etiquette and the new perceived norms around how we are supposed to engage. The evolving digital culture is causing a seismic shift in our lives with mixed and interesting results.”

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

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