Families are hooked on tablet PCs, laptops and smartphones
IRELAND is now completely addicted to smartphones, tablets and social media, a survey has revealed.
While more than half of Irish people now have smartphones, the typical home has at least three laptops, tablet PCs or smartphones, according to the research by Behaviour & Attitudes on behalf of Eircom.
The result is that one in three of us now posts Twitter or Facebook updates while we watch television. And a third of Irish adults now use Skype or other online phone services.
However, the technology is having a darker effect on our behaviour, the survey claims.
Two out of five Irish adults regularly lie on Facebook or Twitter while a third of us use social media services 'to spy' on others.
The survey also warns that greater digital engagement carries a threat of dumbing-down in Irish society. Half of Irish people aged between 16 and 24 now say that they "do not need to look something up in a dictionary" while 60pc have given up writing letters altogether.
Two-thirds of those aged between 16 and 24 say they have "walked into something while checking their mobile".
Furthermore, the survey claims that drunk-dialling and drunk-texting may be on the rise, with 44pc admitting they have called or texted "someone they knew they shouldn't have" while drunk.
A further 67pc said they had apologised to somebody via text message for not calling them.
Irish Facebook users, meanwhile, are getting sick of their friends' baby and pet photos.
"I wish people would just put status updates on Facebook and less pictures and images," said 32pc of respondents, a big jump from the 22pc voicing the same sentiment in the same survey six months ago.
The same number said they were "annoyed by how many pictures friends post of their children on Facebook".
The surge in smartphone ownership is also affecting the behaviour of Irish people on the road. More than one in 10 Irish people now admit to watching TV or video content on their phone while in their car, while 16pc say they watch video content on mobile devices when travelling.
The survey indicates that making apps is not a quick route to riches, with Irish smartphone users typically having less than two paid-for apps on their devices.
Despite having an average of 21 apps per device, Irish people will only use any given seven regularly. The majority of apps downloaded are social networking (75pc), weather (57pc), news (56pc), video (56pc) and music (53pc).
Not everybody is enjoying the fruits of the digital universe. A third of Irish adults admit they "do not understand" new technology.
Younger adults, however, are avid sharers, with more than two in five sharing at least one news or video item with friends online every week.