(AP file photo)

80% of Canadians can’t keep off the internet for 8 straight hours: survey

85% haven’t taken a week-long break this year

The world is growing ever more connected and Canada is no exception, according to a new survey that found 85 per cent of Canadians had not gone “off the grid” anytime in the past year.

The survey, part of a report released Tuesday from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, looked at 2,000 Canadians. It found that only 15 per cent of Canadians had not gone online for a whole week, while only 20 per cent had disconnected for just eight hours.

Quebecers were the most patriotic with their internet users, with 22 per cent saying they often or always seek out Canadian content online. British Columbians were the least patriotic, with 39 per cent saying they almost never look for Canadian content.

Seven out of 10 internet users told surveyors they wouldn’t buy a home without high-speed internet. B.C. and Alberta had the fastest internet in 2019, outpacing former winner New Brunswick in 2019.

Even the older demographic is coming on board, with 57 per cent of boomers having smartphones in 2019, compared with 24 per cent in 2015.

Attention spans are decreasing, the survey shows, as 75 per cent of Canadians use the internet even while they’re watching television.

Just under half of Canadians even admit to using their phones in the bathrooms, the survey found, while 45 per cent say they have to provide informal tech support for their families.

The internet is taking over all parts of life in Canada, with nine per cent getting their education online, 16 per cent finding their home online, 22 per cent finding a job online and 10 per cent finding their spouse online.

But it’s not so easy for everyone. Researchers found average download speeds more than doubled in urban areas between 2018 and 2019, while rural areas saw a jump of one-and-a-half times.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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