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Irish people just can't switch off from their gadgets

Respondents admitted to checking email constantly – even on holidays – and 19 per cent even said they had agreed to something without realising while using a digital device.

Image: Tablet image via Shutterstock

A NEW SURVEY has found that Irish people have developed a need to be constantly connected, as digital device ownership continues to rise allowing round the clock online access.

The Eircom Household Sentiment Survey has indicated that 1.3 million people wish to stay connected 24.7 and the average Irish home now has four potential online devices. Since the last survey, smartphone ownership has also increased; from 39 per cent to 50 per cent.  This equates to 1.6 million smartphone users in Ireland.

Tablet ownership has doubled in the last six years and it is now forecast that 1.2 million people will have access to one by the end of 2013.

One in four people access email first thing in the morning and a quarter of a million of us can’t resist checking our emails while on holidays. The nation’s need to be constantly connected also extends to evenings and weekends, with over half of those surveyed revealing that they won’t and can’t switch off.

Half the population believe that as a nation we have lost of the art of conversation. However, the younger generation in the 16-24 age bracket believe that the conversation is continuing but in a different way. The survey found that 70 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds now prefer to text than call.

Mobile and smartphone etiquette continues to divide the nation with males and under 35’s have a higher acceptability for late evening and weekend texting and emailing, leading to the breakdown of traditional boundaries between home and work life. 62 per cent of those in the 25-34 age group believe it is acceptable to text a colleague after work or at the weekend.

Worryingly, 19 per cent of respondents admitted to having agreed to something without realising it while using a digital device.

63 per cent of the nation uses the internet to diagnose symptoms when they’re sick and 37 per cent of adults admitted to searching online for DIY tips.

Eircom said social media fatigue is also on the rise with 28 per cent of those surveyed claiming that they are getting tired of social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.

Do you take ‘technology breaks’? Tell us in today’s poll…

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