Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Science, Technology, Research and Development, James Lawless TD, has warned of the pitfalls of over-dependency on smartphones. Speaking following the publication of a Mobile Consumer Survey, Deputy Lawless said “Smartphones are a ubiquitous part of life but with Irish smartphone users saying they look at their phones on average 55 times a day, there is a need to be cognisant of overdependence.

“Social media is a great enabler and we are awash with communication options, from Instagram to Skype and everything in-between, but we must be wary of an over-reliance on these platforms, in particular the unreliable nature of them. We are becoming more and more aware of ‘fake news’ and addiction forming algorithms designed to manipulate us.

“People must take control of their habits and listen to the advice which suggests taking time out of their day and stepping away from their phone for a moment of mindfulness. In particular apps such as ‘Moment’ or ‘Freedom’ help you to understand how you use your phone and encourage you to disconnect at appropriate times. We must lead by example for the younger generation and demonstrate that smartphones cannot supersede social interaction,” concluded Deputy Lawless.