Changing face of communication
on 21/10/2013 00:00:00
Eircom's Home Sentiment Survey polled 1,000 Irish people and examined their household's technology habits.
The document lists 10 "key themes" derived from questions within the survey which help to illustrate Ireland's new digital outlook and pinpoints potential growth areas in the future.
Among the key findings in the survey were:
- Almost half (47%) of people in Munster now have a smartphone, indicating there are at least 1.7m smartphone users in Ireland.
- One in three people in Munster now either tweet or post online while watching TV, with the practice of media stacking, or media multi-tasking, now considered the norm among half the population. The activity is particularly popular with young people in the 16-24 age category.
- Despite the current digital revolution, one in three adults said they did not understand new technology, with almost half (49%) of 50- to 64-year-olds and 75% of those over 65 agreeing with this statement.
- The importance of retailers having an online presence was also highlighted, with 44% of the people surveyed logging on to do their shopping.
- 30% of people have now stopped using their laptops and are instead using a tablet device.
"Over the last 12 months, we have seen how we are becoming increasingly reliant on technology in our everyday lives, with apps playing an important role," said consumer marketing director at Eircom Lisa Comerford.
"However, the latest survey concludes that there is also a generation gap emerging where, it seems, one third of the nation is being left behind in this digital age."
Clinical psychologist David Coleman worked with Eircom on the survey and said the report was an interesting indicator of future behavioural patterns.
"Media stacking is a fascinating behavioural trend emerging from Eircom's Home Sentiment Survey that gives an insight into how we, as a society, will engage with technology in the future," said Dr Coleman.
"In homes across the country, parents of teenagers, whether they are aware of it or not, now witness the practice of media stacking on a regular basis.
"The heightened levels of engagement mean that the days of just sitting down to watch TV are gone."
About 42% of people surveyed said they were watching less and less live TV, with another 30% saying they relied on catch up or on demand services to keep up to date.
About 23% of people watched TV on a portable device in the living room, the same percentage as watched it in the bedroom.
Social networking sites were voted the most popular apps, with 75% of people surveyed having access to Facebook or Twitter on their mobiles, while weather apps came in second place, with news and sport apps taking third.
Facebook was voted the most addictive app by smartphone users, with 45% of the vote, while Google and YouTube both received joint second place with 6%.
There is an increased social media awareness but a growing weariness as well.
- 53% of people over 16 use Facebook and YouTube, with 26% using Google Plus and 22% using Twitter and Viber;
- 53% of people agreed that the distinctions between news and entertainment have become blurred;
- 33% said they were growing tired of social media, an increase of 5% since the previous Eircom Home Sentiment Survey was released in Feb 2013.
However, 56% of people said they felt better connected because of social media.
What is interesting to note is that although social media is as popular as ever in terms of usage, it seems to have taken a dive in popularity.
In a matter of months, the number of people who said they "couldn't imagine their life without social media" has taken a nosedive of eight percentage points, going from 41% to just 33%.
- 32% of people are annoyed with how many pictures their friends post of their children on Facebook;
- 32% also wish people would just put status updates on Facebook and fewer pictures and images;
- A further 32% have used social media to "spy" on the activities of others.
Some of the more off-beat findings of the Eircom Home Sentiment Survey included:
- 67% of 16- to 24-year-olds have walked into something while checking their mobiles;
- 36% had sent a text/email/ Facebook post that they shouldn't have when returning from a night out;
- 60% of people searched online to diagnose symptoms when feeling ill;
- 35% of parents with children aged 13 to 47 admitted to checking their children's mobile phone texts.
Ease of use
- 44% of all adults no longer go to a travel agent's office to book a holiday;
- 45% of those aged 16 to 34 do not have to go to a bank to do their banking;
- 37% of 16- to 34-year-olds say they do not have to see TV shows at the time they are shown;
- 37% of 16- to 34-year- olds do not have to look for jobs in newspapers.