Smartphone addiction? Irish people check their phones 57 times a day
Nine in ten Irish people now either own or have smartphone access, with the ‘grey’ tech market expected to become a growth segment for mobile retailers.
Meanwhile Irish people are likely to check their phones on average of 57 times per day, according to Deloitte’s annual Mobile Consumer Survey.
On average, ownership of mobile devices by over 65s has increased to 54pc in 2017, from 48pc in 2016, while the use of video calling has also increased among people in this age bracket to 48pc in 2017 from 25pc in 2016.
The survey of 1,000 people also found that Irish are among the top users of smartphones in Europe.
Meanwhile, the number of Irish people with access to a tablet stands at 71pc - the equivalent of 2.36 million people.
"Mobile devices are a relatively new 'addiction' to our social fabric and they form an important part of our daily activities and interactions. Social norms will develop over time, and it will be interesting to see if the fear of being without one’s phone – nomophobia – starts to become more widely recognised," Richard Howard, head of technology, media and telecommunications at Deloitte, said.
Deloitte’s research found that Ireland’s love of smartphones continues to affect almost every aspect of daily life, including at night-time, with 60pc of 18-24 year-olds checking their phones in the middle of the night, while just under a third check social media notifications.
Overall, 40pc of Irish people look at their smartphones within five minutes of waking, and three quarters do so within half an hour.
Just under one in three of us check our phone within five minutes of going to sleep.
The research also reveals that nine in ten people use their phone when spending time with family and friends, and three quarters of people do so when in a restaurant with family and friends, suggesting that we are unable to switch off from our phones.
Indeed the research found that half of Irish people think they use their mobile phone too much, while nearly 60pc of people think their partners use their phone too much.
Text message remains the most popular form of communicating with others when using smartphones, with 68pc of people texting on a daily basis. This was followed by voice calls – used by 65pc of people each day - and instant messaging, which was used by 64pc of people each day.
"What’s clear, overall, is that we cannot underestimate how mobile devices have changed how we interact with others. Our survey shows that the right balance is still to found for many of us," Mr Howard said.