Are we ad­dicted to our smart­phones?

The Sligo Champion - - OPINION - With Deb­o­rah Cole­man

NEW re­search pub­lished this week re­flects quiet ac­cu­rately, the Ir­ish publi c’ 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 per- haps 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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