Ireland - A Tech Savvy Nation that Needs to be Constantly Connected
- 1.3 million people wish to stay connected 24/7
- The Irish home now has four potential online devices
- A quarter of a million of us check emails on holidays
- Tablet ownership has doubled in the last 6 months
- 1.2 million of us will have access to a tablet by the end of the year
- 1 in 4 of us access email first thing in the morning
- 63% of the nation use the internet to diagnose symptoms when ill
- Twice as many of us believe that men are more tech savvy than women, despite higher female smartphone ownership
Pictured are David Coleman, clinical psychologist and Carolan Lennon, chief commercial officer, eircom
Ireland has a need to be constantly connected as digital device ownership continues to rise to enable round the clock online access, according to the latest eircom Household Sentiment Survey (eHSS) released today.
Always On Culture
The in-depth bi-annual nationwide survey shows how we are embracing technology at every opportunity and how it is impacting every aspect of our lives. We are now a nation that has a desire to stay connected 24/7,with almost a million of us admitting to checking our emails first thing in the morning, while over a quarter of a million of us now check work emails 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.
From a Land of Saints and Scholars to a Land of Digital Devices
Irish households are a now a network of online users; there is an average of four devices that connect to the internet in every Irish home. In the last six months alone, tablet ownership has doubled. This year 15% of us intend to buy a tablet meaning 1.2 million people will have access to a tablet by the end of the year. This has led to some interesting trends in usage. Since the last eHSS survey, smartphone ownership has also dramatically increased; from 39% to 50%. This equates to 1.6m smartphone users in Ireland.
Reliance on Technology for Every Day Life
With increased usage of smartphones and the increased functionality on a single device, it is no surprise that 71% of us stated that we do not miss digital cameras and 63% of us can live without iPods and portable MP3 players. The reliance on technology has reached new levels and our insatiable appetite for information revealed that 37% of adults admitted to have searched online for DIY tips with 56% of parents searching online to diagnose symptoms when their children are ill. Overall twice as many of us believe that males are more tech savvy than females even though smartphone ownership is higher among females (52%) than males.
Weird and Wonderful Locations of Usage
With the increased usage of smartphone and tablet devices, the nation is now equipped to log on at every opportunity. This trend is leading to an increase in demand for online accesson the go. Of those surveyed, 71% use their smartphone sitting in their car and 51% on public transport.While at home, it’s not just the conventional spaces in the house, as 33% admit to using their smartphone in the bathroom, 78% in the bedroom and 27% while on the toilet.
A Little Less Conversation, a Little More…
The online rules of engagement continue to split opinion. 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. 70% of 16 to 24 year olds now prefer to text than call.
The Mobile Etiquette Debate Continues
Meanwhile mobile and smartphone etiquette continues to divide the nation. The eHSS findings show that 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% of those in the 25-34 age group believe it is acceptable to text a colleague after work or at the weekend. And it seems our digital habits are proving to be a distraction, with 19% of respondents admitting to having agreed to something without realising it while using a digital device.
A Virtual World with Virtual Friends
There is less of a divide between our on line and off line selves as social media usage is now part of everyday lives. 38% of respondents believe they are the same online and offline compared to 28% of respondents in the last report. Social media fatigue is also on the rise with 28% of those surveyed claiming that they are getting tired of social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.
Commenting on the survey findings today, Carolan Lennon, chief commercial officer, eircom said; “The results of the latest eircom Household Sentiment Survey (eHSS) clearly show how the digital revolution continues to impact our lives. We have become a tech savvy nation and this has resulted in a fundamental change in how we live and engage with each other. In the last six months alone our report shows how tablets and smartphones have become the new must-have digital devices in Ireland, fulfilling our need to be constantly connected at home, at work and on the move. The changing pace of our always on digital lives across different age groups is fascinating to witness.”
David Coleman, clinical psychologist, who worked with eircom on the survey said, “The rise in ownership and usage of digital devices means our online and offline lives are more entwined than ever; meaning we are almost always connected. 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.”