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Give the Smartphone a Rest

Guinness, partnered with Behaviour & Attitudes, have conducted a study to investigate the impact of using your phone on a night out. The research concluded that 94% of those surveyed saying they had just as good a night, if not better, without the incessant involvement of their mobile phones.

This research coincides with the launch of a new pub initiative – ‘Switch to Pub Mode’. The campaign is celebrating the value on real conversation and quality catch-ups with friends in the pub. Behaviour & Attitudes, Ireland’s leading independent market research agency, carried out the investigation over two consecutive Thursday nights. On the first evening no habits of the typical catch-up were interfered with; the second Thursday saw a significant change made to the interaction – removing phones from the equation. The same people were surveyed, in the same pub, at the same time, on the same night of the week, with the same bar staff. Almost 20% of those involved in the research said they felt more included in their group as a result of ignoring their smartphones.

Richard Layte was the scientific advisor for the study and is Head of Sociology at Trinity College; his comments on the research’s findings talk about what we are discovering about our relationship with smartphones.

‘Phones can both enhance and erode our sociability; on the one hand smartphones enable us to connect and share updates with friends but they can also distract us and draw us away from the here and now when we’re with friends and family.’

Switching to Pub Mode aims to encourage people to enjoy and fully immerse themselves in social interactions and conversations with their friends. To ‘put [the] phones down and [the] heads up.’

The initiative has been welcomed by over a thousand publicans around Ireland and Guinness will be supporting the campaign offering specially created bean bags and phone stackers to give the smartphones a time-out!


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