JJ Houghs in Offaly

JJ Houghs in OffalyInstagram.com/JJHoughs

Is there anything more irritating then trying to chat to your pals when everyone has their gaze glued to their phones?

Whatever happened to quality catchups, without the interruption of texts, notifications, and incoming calls? 

Fair play to Irish pubs, who seem unanimously committed to provoking a digital detox this Holiday season.

JJ Hough's Signing Pub in Banagher, Co. Offaly, are known for their sentimental annual Christmas ads. This year, the focus is on a 'Digital De-Houghx': an elderly man who is frustrated with the lack of in-real-life interaction as everybody seems transfixed with their phones.

The man takes matter into his own hands, and veritably saves Christmas by getting everyone (!!even the kid in the Gucci sweater!!) to go offline.

Earlier this year, Guinness and hundreds of publicans around Ireland launched a new initiative called 'Switch to Pub Mode'.

The stout brand carried out a survey to illustrate just how digitally distracted revelers are these days. The study (conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes) explored the quality of a night out with a gang of friends on two consecutive Thursday nights.

Research revealed that 94% of punters enjoyed their night out as much - or more -without their phone in hand. In stark contrast, just 6% of people had more fun on a night more with their phone in hand.

The study followed the same group of friends in the same place, at the same time, even with the same bar staff. On the second Thursday night, they were told to put their phones down for the entire time. Lo and behold, the results showed a dramatic positive shift on the second night when phones were not in use.

Tellingly, the people said they felt "more included" in their group and "closer" to others in attendance. 

The initiative was welcomed by over 1,000 publicans across Ireland.

Across the participating pubs, Guinness even implemented specially created ‘bean bags’ for phones to rest safely in while their owners enjoy a pint and a chat.

For more details log onto www.guinness.com

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