Irish online users now spend an entire working day (eight hours) a week on social media and for 18-24 year-olds it’s 11 hours a week, according to the Bacardi survey (via B&A’s Acumen panel). Social media users also say goodnight online with 50 per cent confessing that the last thing they do at night is to check e-mails, text messages or social media sites (with 49 per cent undertaking the same activities first thing the next morning).
The poll found that despite the smartphone revolution (38 per cent of the online population own one) we still crave the joys of face-to-face connections as 76 per cent admit that the only meaningful relationships are in person. When asked how they prefer to interact with others, almost nine in 10 (88 per cent) strongly prefer face-to-face communication with immediate family and nearly as many (82 per cent) with close friends. Despite their enthusiasm for social media, 18-24 year-olds also hold these views although 90 per cent of them do use social media for co-ordinating social events and get-togethers.
Social media’s effect on social habits
Social media may be helping 69 per cent of Irish people using those channels keep up-to-date on what’s happening with their friends and acquaintances but we are not interacting with them personally or individually.
So it’s no surprise then that 68 per cent of Irish users think we’re becoming more superficial and a similar proportion (69 per cent) agree that we’re losing our social skills because of social media when:
- half of Irish people (53 per cent) believe it’s OK to take or make calls, texts and e-mails while in the toilet, with people from Dublin (59 per cent) being more likely to do this than those from other regions
- nearly a quarter of all social media users (23 per cent) spend between 10 and 24 hours on social networks each week.
- 12 per cent spend over 25 hours a week on social networks
- eight per cent of Irish social media users feel they’re at risk of social media burn-out
- 60 per cent of the online population feel there should be a social media-free day.
Why we don’t use social media
- Privacy is a big Irish issue, with 66 per cent of those online who don’t use social media stating it’s because “it doesn’t offer privacy, I don’t want to share myself online”
- 59 per cent of those online who don’t use social media cite that ‘there is no replacement for face-to-face meetings’ as a reason for not using the new media channel
- 41 per cent of those online who don’t use social media consider ‘social media a waste of time’ – amongst the top reasons for not using it.
A bit of fun on Togetherness
- When it comes to the long-standing Northside v Southside debate, 46 per cent of adults nationally agree that Dublin Northsiders are the real Dubs. Not surprisingly, 63 per cent of Dublin Northsiders share this view while only 22 per cent of Southsiders agree
- 43 per cent of Northside Dubliners believe they’re more family-orientated than their Southside counterparts
- 35 per cent of South Dubliners agree that Southsiders text more than Northsiders.
Commenting on the Bacardi Togetherness Poll, B&A Director Luke Reaper said that the Irish culture is one that craves social contact and interaction. What’s clear from this research is that even though we are undoubtedly in the midst of a ‘connectivity revolution’, the need to still physically connect and have true ‘social’ connections pervades all demographics. Even young people still meet, talk, laugh and gossip one-to-one – just visit your local shopping centre on a Saturday.
Bacardi Market Development Manager Tiernan O’Morain added, “Despite the dominance of social media in our lives, human instinct is to get together and share experiences with our friends and family and nothing can replace that real connection. Being a family-run business for the past 148 years, Bacardi has always focused on the importance of spending time with friends and family. Whether throwing street festivals in Cuba back in 1862 or hosting intimate gatherings around the world, the end result has always been about making real human connections while creating memories with friends.”
Come together at home in Ireland
With Irish people staying in Ireland for their Summer holidays this year, it’s good to know that Corkonians believe their county to be the friendliest (64 per cent), followed by Galway (58 per cent), Limerick (56 per cent), Dublin (33 per cent) and Meath (43 per cent). And if you’re looking for the county that provides the best fun/craic, then you should listen to the people of Galway who believe they provide the best entertainment (61 per cent), followed by Cork (59 per cent), Dublin (37 per cent), Limerick and Meath (34 per cent).