Business Technology

Friday 29 August 2014

We're more connected than ever as half of us have access to tablet device

John Mulligan

Published 25/03/2014 | 02:30

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Almost half the Irish population have access to a tablet
Almost half the Irish population have access to a tablet

Irish households are increasingly connected to the digital world with nearly half of people now having access to a tablet computer.

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The explosion in tablet usage over the past year is reflected in new figures showing that 40pc of adults over 16 have regular access, compared to just 25pc a year ago.

And with 16pc of people who do not have a tablet planning to get one shortly, there is potential for 1,756,000 to have access before the end of the year.

The Eircom survey also reveals that the tablet's smaller cousin, the smartphone, continues to enjoy strong growth with 61pc of people owning one – more than two million users in Ireland.

The number of mobile online devices in a household has now increased to four from three a year ago, whereas for the 16-24 age group the average is even higher at six.

And outside of the home, two-thirds of us are now using our mobile devices to access the internet while on public transport.

Children as young as 10 are now influencing what kind of technology their parents buy, the Eircom survey reveals.

The survey shows that 57pc of parents are also influenced by children aged between five and 12 years old in their decisions on what new phone to pick.

While many of us happily post pictures of our children and family events on sites such as Facebook, it turns out we're boring everyone else to death.

Eircom says that 'Sharenting' – where parents update online friends about family goings-on and share pictures of their kids – is popular but irritating.

Its survey found that 84pc of all respondents say sharenting is not for them, and 59pc of adults with kids aged up to four think the same. Just 5pc of all adults claim they're sharenters.

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"Sharenting is a fascinating trend that has gripped social media – and what is particularly interesting to see is the number of people in denial," said clinical psychologist David Coleman, who worked with Eircom on the survey.

"The fact that we all see this on a daily basis means that there are almost certainly more than 5pc of 'sharenters' out there – they just don't realise (or admit) that they are doing it."

Young people between the age 16 and 24 are most connected to the online world.

The Eircom survey found that 43pc of them have talked up their social life online to make it seem more interesting.

And almost half, at 46pc, are anxious that they'll miss something by not being online.

The survey shows that 95pc of this age group access the internet once a day or more, and 15pc admitted that they are online "practically every hour that they are awake".

And underlining just how quickly fads can change, the crucial 16-24 age group is also starting to shun Facebook.

The number of them using Facebook fell over 5pc to 89pc compared to last year, with 30pc of those who aren't using the social website as much declaring it to no longer be "cool".

But among users aged over 35, Facebook's popularity has grown, with 40pc of them using it compared to 34pc last August.

Irish Independent

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