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Red Deer among Canada’s social media obsessed cities, maybe

Red Deer Polytechnic instructor critiques study
FILE - A recent study tried to figure out which Canadian cities are obsessed with social media. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Evan Vucci

Red Deerians are among Canadians who love to google, although not as much as some.

Red Deer ranked 41st in a recent study by of Canada’s most social media-obsessed cities.

But a Red Deer Polytechnic instructor warns the study’s methodology and conclusions are not totally reliable.

According to the survey, Victoria, B.C. is the most social media obsessed city in Canada, followed by Moncton; N.B.; St. John’s, F.L.; Nanaimo B.C.; Peterborough, Ont.; Vancouver, B.C.; Thunder Bay, Ont.; Halifax, N.S; Prince George, B.C.; and Windsor, Ont.

Closer to home, Lethbridge was in 24th place. Calgary took the 27th spot, and Edmonton was 40th. Airdrie was 44th.

The study is based on the number of monthly Google searches across Canada over the past year for social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and more to see which cities had the highest amount of searches per 1,000 people.


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The study also found YouTube is the most popular social media platform across Canada.

“Social media has become a fundamental part of many people’s lives over the past decade, so it’s interesting that the older social media platforms such as Youtube and Facebook still remain supreme in popularity in Canadian cities, as opposed to newcomers such as TikTok,” said a spokesperson with, in a statement.

But RDP instructor Kathy Pallister said the most social media obsessed cities cannot be determined with the data that was collected.

“It just literally shows the number of people who google. It doesn’t show the number of times people actually used social media because most people are seeing it through an app on their phone,” said Pallister, with RDP’s School of Arts and Culture department.

“You cannot reach the conclusions they drew based on the research they did.”

Also, the conclusion about the popularity of YouTube contradicts other studies, she added.

“Facebook is number one, hands down. Pretty much any study will show that.”


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Pallister said while areas with more retirees, like Victoria, may use laptops to google more often than apps on cellphones, that doesn’t explain why Victoria googles so much compared to nearby White Rock.

“You’re talking about two places that are very close to each other, yet wildly different, according to this.”

She said the study doesn’t consider factors that may have influenced the results, such as internet access. Northern communities, where internet access is less reliable, did not make the list.

And people should ask themselves why is a virtual casino company did the study and why they are promoting it, she said.

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Susan Zielinski

About the Author: Susan Zielinski

Susan has been with the Red Deer Advocate since 2001. Her reporting has focused on education, social and health issues.
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