A new survey has found that more than 1.6 million people now have a smartphone in Ireland.

The latest Eircom Household Sentiment Survey reveals that the proportion of people using smartphones has risen from 39% to 50% in the last six months.

The poll was carried out by Behaviour and Attitudes in February and March among a sample of 1,000 adults.

It also found that the number of people who own a tablet computer has doubled since the last survey six months ago.

The authors estimate that based on people's buying intentions, there will be 1.2 million tablet owners by the end of this year.

People's love-affair with technology and their need to be connected continues to grow, with the study revealing that a million of us admit to checking our emails first thing in the morning, while over a quarter of a million of us now check work emails on holidays.

Over half of those surveyed revealed that they won't and can't switch off their devices in the evening and at weekends.

Twice as many of those surveyed perceive Irish men to be more tech savvy than Irish women, although female ownership of smartphones is higher than male.

Underlining the diverse range of places that smartphones are used, 71% said they use their smartphone sitting in their car, 51% on public transport, 33% in the bathroom, 78% in the bedroom and 27% while on the toilet.

As communication usage trends shift, three quarters of those aged 16-24 say they now prefer to send text messages rather than have a phone conversation.

However, there is growing evidence of social media fatigue, with a quarter of people surveyed saying they are growing tired of social media channels. In a warning of the perils of technology, 19% of respondents admitting to having agreed to something without realising it while using a digital device.