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66pc of Irish millennials 'couldn't live without their mobiles'


Host Eoghan McDermott. Photo: Naoise Culhane Photography Ltd

Host Eoghan McDermott. Photo: Naoise Culhane Photography Ltd

Host Eoghan McDermott. Photo: Naoise Culhane Photography Ltd

Ireland's millennials are the ultimate online generation, with nearly two-thirds admitting they could not live without their mobiles.

A Europe-wide survey found Ireland's younger generation are the continent's most dependent on smartphones.

The RTE 2 series Generation What?, on at 10.30pm tonight, looks at the answers of over 33,000 18 to 34-year-olds from 14 countries to 149 questions, ranging from politics to media to equality.

Sociologist Kevin Myers, who helped analyse the results along with the Department of Sociology in UCD, said Ireland's mobile dependence was the highest of all nations in the survey.

"Millennials definitely love their mobile phones," he said. "In 2016, mobile phone penetration was 105pc, which meant every person in Ireland had one or more, and 66pc of Irish millennials said they couldn't live without theirs.

"We're the highest out of the entire 14 countries. The next was Wales at 52pc and the lowest Italy with 21pc.

"Meanwhile, 57pc of our younger generation said they wouldn't be happy without the internet."


The series, presented by Eoghan McDermott, also revealed 27pc of Irish millennials could not be happy without alcohol in their lives. That was the second highest in Europe behind the Welsh on 31pc.

When it came to drugs, only 7pc said they would unhappy without them.

Politicians come out of the survey poorly.

"Three-quarters of Irish participants felt some or all politicians are corrupt," said sociologist Amanda Slevin. "In France and Greece, the results are even more stark, with 99pc feeling some or all are corrupt.

"We're seeing the repercussions already in low voter turnout. For example, in the 2014 European elections, voter turnout among people aged 18 to 24 was 21pc in Ireland."

The media are also under fire in the survey.

"Only 1pc of Irish participants said they completely trusted the media, and 43pc didn't trust the media at all," Ms Slevin said.

Irish millennials also displayed some right-wing views, with only one in four saying Irish borders should be open to all.

In terms of Europe, 13pc thought Ireland should leave the EU, while only 5pc totally truest the EU.