Irish people check their phones on average 58 times per day, according to a new study from Deloitte Ireland.
The survey was carried out between May and June this year, as the country began to exit COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
Commenting on the report, Harry Goddard, CEO, Deloitte Ireland said: “Technology has provided a huge array of opportunities for individuals, organisations, communities and even governments to adapt to new ways of working and living during the COVID-19 crisis.”
“Despite the challenges associated with the pandemic, technology has increasingly become an integral part of all of our lives, and will continue to have a significant role to play in the fight against COVID-19 at home and across the world.”
Smartphone ownership in Ireland saw a slight decrease for the second year in a row at 90% (compared to 91% in 2019 and 94% in 2018).
This is consistent with trends across Europe. Notably, ownership of standard mobile phones increased by 5% (from 9% in 2019 to 14% in 2020).
Ownership of laptops also saw a slight decrease at 83%, compared to 84% in 2019. Tablet devices saw the biggest year-on-year increase in ownership, from 43% in 2019 to 64% in 2020.
There was also an increase in ownership of fitness bands (from 24% to 29%) and virtual reality headsets (from 5% to 8%). Ownership of desktop computers remained the same at 41%.
A third (33%) of all respondents report that they look at their phone within five minutes of waking, an increase of 2% on 2019. 87% look at their phone within the first hour of waking, up 3% on last year, according to the survey.
46% feel they are using their smartphones too much
When it comes to the number of times phones are checked during the day, there were “significant” differences between age groups.
17% of 18-24-year-olds report checking their phones over 200 times a day: this falls to 10% among the 25-24 bracket; 8% among 35-44s; 7% among 45-54s; and once a day or less among the 55 – 75 age group.
Perception of smartphone usage also varies with age, with younger respondents more likely to feel that they are prone to over-usage.
Overall, 46% of respondents feel that they are using their smartphones too much; this rises to 65% of 18-24-year-olds and 66% of 25-34s.
The 35-44 and 45-54 age groups are also more likely than average to believe that they overuse their smartphones at 63% and 52% respectively. Meanwhile, 37% of 55-64s admitted to overuse, and 32% of 65-75s.
Financial activities and device type
The most popular financial activity carried out on mobile phones is checking bank balances (62%), followed by browsing shopping websites or apps (52%), buying products online (43%) and making banking transactions (41%).
This year, mobile has replaced laptops as the preferred device for making online purchases among the 18-24 and 35-44 demographics.
26% of all respondents use their mobile phones to make reservations while 16% do their online grocery shopping on mobile.