Are Canadians experiencing some lag when it comes to embracing social networking?
Sounds surprising, given Canada has the highest percentage of its population on Facebook in the world, but a new global study suggests it may still be the case.
According to the “largest ever global research project into people’s online activities,” the survey, which was commissioned by research company TNS, found that online users in developing and newly industrialized countries—think China, Brazil and India—are much more likely to have a blog, share photographs online, and rely on social-networking websites (like Facebook) instead of email as way of communicating.
The findings of the survey conclude developed economies like as Canada and Japan are less willing participants in the great digital experiment than their developing-world counterparts. Quoth the Province:
Only 27 per cent of Canadian respondents, for example, said they had written a blog post or submitted an entry in an online forum, whereas 88 per cent of China’s online population and 51 per cent of Brazil’s said they had.
The digital divide also appears in a reluctance to share personal photographs, with 60 per cent of Canadian respondents saying they do so, compared with 92 per cent in Thailand and 88 per cent in Malaysia.
Canadians still prefer email to social networking, the survey suggests, as respondents logged 5.1 hours a week in their inboxes and 3.8 hours on social networking sites. In “rapid-growth markets” such as Latin America or China, the numbers are reversed: 5.2 hours a week for social networking, and four hours for email.
Cellphones have also taken hold in developing countries at a higher rate than in Canada. Global users reported spending just over 3 hours a week visiting social networking sites on their cellphones, and just over 2 hours checking email. Canadians, however, spent just less than 2 hours on each.