TORONTO – Canadians who are concerned that they are not as “plugged in” as other industrialized nations can relax. comScore, an analytical firm that tracks consumers’ use of digital technology, reports that 27.8 Canadians are now glued to their smartphones, tablets, or other portable devices. These survey participants estimated that they spent approximately forty hours a month surfing the Internet via desktops or other types of conventional computers.
But when the mobile devices mentioned above come into play, the total combined time on the Internet for Canadians jumps to just under 75 hours a month. This means that the average Internet user in Canada is spending roughly 3 hours a day on it outside of work. The survey results further broke down its findings to show that the greatest number of mobile device users tended to skew younger. Survey participants aged 25-34 estimated that they spent up to 110 hours a month Web surfing with mobile devices, as opposed to 50 hours a month via a conventional computer. Conversely, Canadians aged 55 and older felt they only spent 20 hours per month on devices, with the rest of their Internet time spent on conventional computers.
How does this data compare to Canada’s technology crazed cousins to the south? Various studies conducted in the United States produce device use times ranging anywhere from one to six hours per day. The average is probably closer to that reported in the comScore Canadian study; between two and three hours per day.
And is this too much? Are we turning into a planet whose connectivity is turning us into disconnected individuals spending far too much time in the digital universe? Perhaps not. Some researchers say that device users spend far less time Web surfing than they think they do. Smart phone users for example, tend to frequently but very briefly (usually only for a few seconds) look at their phones. The results are similar for tablet users accessing apps. “Meaningful” device use (watching videos, accessing Web pages) is probably only an hour a day.
So while the frequency of checking these devices has increased, (Americans report checking for smartphone messages up to 150 times a day) the amount of time spent truly looking at what is being displayed has stayed fairly stable. It would seem that Canadians aren’t in immediate danger of becoming even greater slaves to their mobile devices. But that also doesn’t mean that they’re not going to want upgrades this holiday season.