Eircom’s Household Sentiment Survey reveals how technology unites and divides Irish households

27 Aug 2012

Eircom conducted its first ever Household Sentiment Survey to explore the significant digital transformation taking place in homes across Ireland and discover how modern technology is shaping our lives and influencing our behaviour.

The in-depth nationwide survey found that 80pc of respondents believe that technology has a positive impact on the household, citing benefits like enabling people to keep in touch (27pc), helping people to communicate (23pc), and bringing family and friends closer (17pc).

However, while technology can connect us with people on the other side of the world, it can sometimes keep us from speaking to those in the same room. Of those surveyed, 17pc see technology as a barrier to communication and 52pc of families now spend more time on different tech devices when they are together.

This is causing people to closely consider social etiquette when it comes to using mobile devices, and 63pc say texting or emailing on your phone when socialising with others is unacceptable.

“The results of the Eircom survey are interesting on a number of levels,” said clinical psychologist David Coleman,, who worked with Eircom on the survey. “One thing that struck me very forcibly is that while many households and families aspire to bonding together in a more traditional fashion, around a board game for example, the survey shows that aspiration doesn’t match today’s reality. In fact, the most common scenario is the family all together, but interacting with separate pieces of technology.”

This scenario rings true with 29pc of respondents saying that modern technology in the household means people do things by themselves rather than as a group or family. In fact, technology appears not only to bring families together, but is also a divisive element in the household, and 67pc of those surveyed said technology causes arguments in the home.

“While undoubtedly people being incessantly on their phone or laptop causes arguments in some cases, or work can encroach more on home life, most people feel happier that modern technology helps them keep in touch with their friends and family and helps also make them feel safer, such as having a mobile to contact teenage children or by the bed at night,” Coleman concluded.

Image of technology in the home via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic