Case study one
Eamon Fagan Glasson, Westmeath. Eamon is in his early 50s and milks 150 cows
"I got my first smartphone about three weeks ago. I went for a Nokia N8, largely because I'd always had a Nokia and I thought it looked sturdier than the others. It was only €50 on an upgrade, so it wasn't a big outlay. But the first one seemed to freeze and when I got a replacement, I couldn't get the email to work on it so I ended up with an iPhone, which cost me an extra €70. I was on the €50-a-month package with the IFA for 400 minutes and texts. Now I'm on 300 minutes and texts for about the same money.
"I must admit that it surprised me with its user-friendliness. I've bought a case and insurance for the first six months to see how I get on with it. I actually find it faster for texting.
"The biggest advantage is that I don't have to go inside and fire up the computer to get my emails. I am fairly involved with the local GAA club and we also have a small rental property, so there were an increasing number of messages and bookings coming in via email. It didn't matter how short the email was, it used to always take me 10-15 minutes to get in, get it up on the screen and log out. Now it's in my pocket. My buying group is also starting to circulate quotes and notices about deliveries via email, so it's handy.
"I also use things such as Agrinet's grass measurement programme, which again saves me from going into the house to input the data. Once the data for each week's growth is in, my Teagasc adviser can contact me anytime with advice. I also find myself checking the weather and a bit of sports. I'm happy with it. Let's see what the bill is like, though!"