Are we ad­dicted to our smart­phones?

The Corkman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - With Deb­o­rah Cole­man

NEW re­search pub­lished this week re­flects quiet ac­cu­rately, the Ir­ish public’s de­pen­dency on their smart­phones. Ac­cord­ing to Ir­ish Life who com­mis­sioned the re­search, over a quar­ter of peo­ple check their phones all day, ev­ery day.

While see­ing the re­sults of such polls is a bit of fun, one only has to walk down any street or in fact go into any public place to see that this is true.

Most of us use our phones, so the re­search says, for emails (87%), so­cial me­dia (71%) and for check­ing the news and weather (67%) - all of which ac­cu­rately re­flect so­ci­ety to­day.

It is not so much about our ‘depen­dence’ on smart tech­nol­ogy how­ever - but rather how un­less we em­brace it, we will find the most mun­dane and ev­ery­day tasks more and more chal­leng­ing.

Com­pa­nies, and even State bod­ies are all mov­ing to­wards a more tech-savvy ex­is­tence and they no longer want cus­tomers phon­ing up to do busi­ness.

They want us logged in, and do­ing the job our­selves.

I know for those who did not grow up with the lux­ury of tech­nol­ogy this must seem like a ma­jor in­con­ve­nience and of course, cus­tomers should have the choice of deal­ing with an ac­tual hu­man be­ing if they wish.

How­ever, for many, log­ging on and sort­ing our­selves out is prefer­able.

Who would opt to stay on hold for 20 min­utes when you can pay a bill or place an or­der on­line within a few min­utes? How­ever, if you have spent a life­time with­out ever hav­ing or need­ing to be on­line then it could seem like the big­gest has­sle in the world.

While smart­phones can make life so much eas­ier, there is some­thing to be learned from these fig­ures, and that per­haps it is wise to take a break from time to time - from screens, from so­cial me­dia, and from the con­stant stress of be­ing ac­ces­si­ble. We are never re­ally ‘off ’.

Whether it is work or per­sonal busi­ness, ev­ery­thing is at our fin­ger­tips 24/7 and it is dif­fi­cult to switch off.

Most of us even sit in front of the tele­vi­sion scrolling through our phones, with­out fo­cus­ing on ei­ther - surely that can’t be healthy.

So how do we go­ing about find­ing the healthy bal­ance and in get­ting the most from tech­nol­ogy with­out it rul­ing our lives? Surely, there must be an app for that?

Over a quar­ter of peo­ple check their phones all day, ev­ery day.

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