Posted by & filed under Digital Policy, IS ethics.

Description: Canucks spend more time online than anyone else on Earth, according to new data from Web research firm comScore. And it’s not even by a small margin – the average Canadian spends 43.5 hours a month on the Web, almost twice the worldwide average of 23.1 hours.

Source: Globe&

Date: March 8, 2011

According to the comScore report, the number of unique online visitors in Canada hovered at about 23 million users in the fourth quarter of 2010, almost unchanged from the same period a year earlier, and less than a 10th of the number of Web users in China. Of 11 countries surveyed, Canada ranks first in the number of website visits per user per month, at 95.2, and second only to South Korea in number of pages viewed, at 3,349. Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Why do you feel that Canadians use more Internet that other countries?
  • Are there any downsides to Canada as a result of Canadians using the Internet more than others?

23 Responses to “Canadians’ Internet usage nearly double the worldwide average”

  1. whyte

    One possible reason Canada tops the list for internet usage is winter. It can be hard to stay connected with family and friends when the temperature drops below zero and you have to throw on a any number extra layers to go dig you car out from under a foot of snow, only to find out that it wont start and is likely stuck there till spring. So my guess would be that durning the eight months of deep freeze that we experience people want to avoid the all the hassle and turn to the internet to chat with friends, watch movies, look at photos, track stocks, and generally waste time until the weather improves and we can venture outside again.

  2. Brittni Maurer

    I don’t have an answer to why Canadian use the internet way more then other countries but I can list some thoughts of maybe why the number are so high:
    – Less access to books, the internet is a more convenient way of getting information
    – Many businesses use the internet to stay connected with their employer and employees though company web sites and company emails
    – To stay in contact with close friends and family using social networking such as facebook, skype, email ect.
    – Weather, having winter for 4 months out of the year keeps people in side and out of boredom they would use the internet.
    I don’t see there being any down sides to the fact that Canadians using the internet way more then other countries. There was a study done and it provide that internet users did not have least of a social life then non internet users. I think that Canadians just have lots of purposes to using the internet and they aren’t scared to use it.

  3. Landon

    I think one of the reasons Canadians use the internet so much is because our society has become so reliant on technology, and being a developed nation, we are able to keep up and even pioneer new technologies. As mentioned in the article, the ease of access to high speed internet enables people to use the internet almost anywhere. Also, it isn’t just individuals using the internet, businesses use the internet to connect with others in their supply chains, using the JIT process. It is the internet that allows this to happen so well, Since Canada is a large exporter and importer, they are linked to other businesses all over the world in order to keep in constant contact with suppliers, subsidiaries, and customers.

    I think the only downside would be if the telecommunications network crashed, not impossible, but unlikely. Since everything is linked to the internet, the economy would take a big hit. The likelihood of identity theft occurring increases with the number of users, since more info on each person is more vulnerable. I don’t think the fact that Canadians use the internet so much is a downside to Canada for the most part. It allows the entire country to be connected with one another, and the world. It allows trade of goods and information between users. Since many Canadians use the internet, it allows marketers to gather info on people (whether it’s ok is a topic for another discussion) to better serve them, increasing sales, which drives the economy. Without the internet, the collection of data as we know today, would be next to impossible to do.

  4. Logan Redman

    What the heck are we supposed to do when its minus fourty outside? Go online. Why not? I mean out entire country becomes freezing cold for have of the year. Why would we not stay in touch with our friends, family, or meet new people, research things online, or play games. I heard about a study which took into account kids who had tv’s in their rooms (americans) and kids who had computers in their rooms (canadians). Kids with the TV’s were, to put bluntly, less intelligent than the kids who had computers. People who use computers more are searching for information where as people who watch tv are force fed information that is useless, for the most part. Canadians most likely use the internet more than anyone else because its cold and we’re curious. Next article.

  5. bretton macdonald

    There could be many different factors to explain why canadians are the most prolific users of the internet. One reason is we live in such a big country that communicating with one another over the internet is the best and in some cases the only option we have. Canadian winters also play a huge part in why we use the internet so much. If its to cold to go outside and do any activities then were stuck in our houses trying to keep ourselves entertained and thats where the internet comes into play. We also have so much access to the internet, it seems like anywhere you go you can get some sort of access even in remote areas. So if theres access then theres usually users to go along with it. I dont know if its a great thing that we spend so much time on the internet but at the same time we are in an electronic era and since we spend the most time on it then we could be prepared for everything that comes to us next.

  6. Jenn Oloya

    Canadians probably use the internet so much more than other countries because the access to the internet is relatively easier and cheaper in Canada. Unlike other nations the government doesn’t put restrictions on what we view and we don’t have to pay for the amount of bytes we download, we get this services for a flat free (for now at least). Another reason why Canadian uses the internet more that other countries could be that we are a country compose from different individuals from around the world so the internet is a great way for Canadians to keep in touch with family around the world and to get information about what is going on in our home countries.
    The downsides that I could think of Canada if residents use the computer more than others is that Canadian youths becoming inactive and that causing health problem such as diabetes and obesity or Canadians being more prone to privacy issues such as identity theft and spam, but that is a risk with every one that uses the computer.

  7. Russ

    I think that Canadians use the internet more than other countries because there is not too much that is exciting that goes on here so Canadians are just checking out what everyone else is doing else where. jks.. Canada is a prolific country in using the internet because Canadian telecommunications networks are fairly developed and easy to gain access to, they are fairly ubiquitous. The other reason is because there are a lot of retired individuals (those 55 or over) who are becoming more and more familiar and reliant with the use of technology and the internet in Canada. The internet is a cheaper way than possibly some of the other alternatives to communicate in canada. Everyone who has a cell phone knows that long distance phone calls break the bank. However, skype and other video chat applications have made it much easier to communicate with family and friends around the world.

    I think the biggest downsides to Canada’s heavy use of the internet is that the telecomm companies are catching onto the heavy usage by their customers and are starting to charge through the roof for the services that are provided to gain access to the internet.

  8. John

    The weather here in Canada I think would be the biggest factor for why we seem to be on the web the most. Yes there are outdoor activities to do when its snowing, but most people try to stay warm and take this time as an opportunity to catch up on new, current events, or just creep other people’s facebook. Another huge factor for Canada is the fact that we are one of the most technological countries in the entire world. Due to the various services offered (cable internet, ADSL, or Satellite) Canadian anywhere from the northwest territories to PEI can get service in some way shape or form.
    The thing that surprised me the most was the age demographic that actually is using the internet more, the 55ers and up. This kinda makes sense to me as a lot of information out there would be really useful and geared from the demographic, but it surprised me how they increased in size, and the 17s and under decreased.

  9. Hugh F

    It sounds silly but I think one of the main reasons is because it is very easy to get hooked to the internet, and it doesn’t help when it’s -30 outside. For a good half of the year it is often more pleasant to be indoors in comparison to most places around the world, that coupled with our high standard of living that has placed computers in our hands at a much earlier age.
    Besides the health effects of sitting in front of a computer monitor for 12 hours a day, the real negative side is what people do on the internet. Heck, if you are looking at the right stuff then being on the internet is probably as valuable as a formal education with the vast amounts of information available. But for most of us we would much rather use it for social networking, silly games, looking up non-educational information and well, checking out the questionable realms of the internet.

  10. Taofikat Awopeju

    Its really hard to determine how Canadians use more internet than other countries but the one i feel is a major reason is that internet is a form of communication to most people for instance immigrants they use the internet to communicate with family and friends around the globe with the use of Facebook,instant messaging and most calling card are used on line too and many more.
    Honestly speaking i see no down sides to the fact that Canadians using the internet way more then other countries.It allows the entire country to be connected with one another,around the world. It allows trade of goods and information between users. Since many Canadians use the internet, it allows marketers to gather info on people to better serve them, increasing sales, which drives the economy.

  11. Brenda Bicharr

    I am not Canadian but i have lived here for a while now, i think the reason why Canadians spend so much time on the internet is because they really don’t have much else to do. Entertainment tv on Canada is all shows from the united states and Europe. At least most of it. Canadians do have Canadian hockey though. But other countries like the US are out acting movies,doing reality shows and a whole other things. But Canadians really don’t engage themselves much, hence so much time for the internet.

    With that lack of much socializing, Canadians turn their attention to the internet and social networks and movies online and shows online etc etc
    there is even the Canadian reputation that everyone know, Canada as a country depends on the US for trade and they don’t engage much in business abroad. This s the attitude which reflects to the citizens.

    It is just their culture and so internet is Canadian entertainment and time pass strategy. Thats is my opinion.

  12. DC

    Bad weather stands out in my own opinion. People are involuntarily forced to stay in the house most of the time during the winter. The cold weather leaves people with very little options to explore outside, in the end people spend most of their time surfing the internet, playing games and chatting with friends. The other reason is because Canada is high tech country and electronic gadgets are cheaper and more available to people than most other countries, this obviously results in more Canadian using the internet that most other countries. Using the internet have severe downsides; Canadian people lack great social skills required for everyday living, people in Canada usually suffer from depressions because they dont have strong social circles as a result of the technology filling in social life’s gaps. People end up depending on the internet to replace family and friends. Also the heavy use of the internet results in obesity, most kids are overweight because they don’t get enough time to exercise outside, mainly because they spent a lot of time playing games online.

  13. Momah Moseri

    Canada is one of the most advanced countries in the world. Computers and internet are like everyday things here. I feel Canadians use more internet because for the convenience, getting more information, keep in touch and stay connected. Canada is a pretty chilled country and allows many things go on. Anything and everything is very easy to find on the internet instead of sitting down for hours looking for it in a book. I find that Canadians hate stress and love thing to be convenient for them. They prefer using their internet than having to open the book. There is never a downside to using internet. If anything, it should be an addition to the country. It means the country is very well advanced in terms of technology and could easily be a very country country. The world is fast becoming computerized and with Canada being the biggest users of internet could make other countries realize how powerful Canada is

  14. Ify Moseri

    Well to start with I believe Canadians do not have a lot going on for them when it comes to socializing or having fun. In Europe for instance people know that they have to balance work and leisure which is not the case in Canada. I’m not surprised Canadians spend more time online on average. Some of that is a matter of lifestyle – Canadians use the internet in jobs and in recreation – but there’s also the issue of relative efficiency. I submit that it takes Canadians longer to get anything accomplished online, and that perhaps the amount of time wasted would decrease if the bandwidth/speed capabilities of the rest of the world, instead of having ISPs that throttle connections and cap usage. I believe people should learn to go out there to meet people and to get things done. Being out there helps reduce tension, depression, boredom and a couple of issues related with youths. There is a big difference in meeting someone online and meeting them in person.

  15. Katie

    I found it really interesting to find out how much time Canadians spend online. But when I really stopped and thought about it, it didn’t surprise me all that much. The way of the world is moving toward the internet and everything being online. It makes everything from business, education, personal, etc more convenient. I think the weather plays a big factor in internet usage because people aren’t spending near the time outside doing other activities. It also seems like there isn’t as much going on in Canada as there is in other parts of the world. Another big factor is the accessibility of the internet. People can connect online almost anywhere now. It is definitely a good thing to be so connected but I do think that it has started to affect the way people build relationships and connect with others around us. We are getting too comfortable with coming home and going online. People need to be careful and make sure we are still going and spending time outside with other people and interacting with the world around us.

  16. selena759noa

    unfortunately i can only really think of winter being the primary cause. we can’t ALWAYS be snowboarding or shovelling our driveways, and i’m sure winter makes many cold haters keep indoors as much as possible. that combined with being a stable, fully developed country allows us the technology necessary to maintain such high levels of activity and interest in the internet.

    as long as the internet use is productive (which, let’s face it, much probably isnt) i see no downside. i would hope that it would lead to more innovation in our technology sector.
    but in the unproductive side, it probably just leads to less physically active and enganged individuals.

  17. Jatinder Aulakh

    •Why do you feel that Canadians use more Internet that other countries?
    •Are there any downsides to Canada as a result of Canadians using the Internet more than others?

    I am pretty shocked the Canadians use more internet than other countries. I would probably have thought Americans would use more internet. However, I feel that Canadians use more internet because we as Canadians find it more convenient and easier. It’s an easier way of getting a hold of family and friends through Facebook and Skype rather than making long distance calls. Also, Canadians find that it is cheaper to order stuff online than go out to the shopping malls. For example buying electronics and cars consumer can now find better deals on eBay and other sites. I also believe Canadians are really lazy and like to get everything done while sitting at home with just a touch of a click.

    I think the downside of Canadians using the internet more than others is that there will be health issues. I think because people can do everything at home on their computers they won’t find it necessary to go out. This is bad for the young generation because they will not be as active as they should be.

  18. Dustin

    I think the reason that Canadians almost double the usage for the web is because of the weather and population. When its cold outside or the weather is nasty outside people tend to stay indoors. people dont play board games because now you can sit in front of the computer and pay the same game. in addition to that. you can play that game with some one not in the same room or even the same house. they could be in toronto. also some places in canada are isolated. so its alot easier to stay connected on the web!
    I don’t see any negative downsides to canadians using the web more then the rest of the world. except the fact that we might see a rise in people that are over weight. Because the people that just sit in front of the computer screen will eat more and more so they will gain some weight no doubt about it.

  19. Derek Wilson

    At first, it seems quite shocking that the majority of Canadians spend double the world average surfing the internet. If you think about it, there are a few simple reasons for this insane number of Canadian web users. It is very difficult to go outdoors in the freezing, bitter winter weather when you can sit in front of your computer and work from home or watch movies. The available access to high speed internet is a contributing factor for this significant number of individuals on the internet. One more thing explaining Canadian’s interest usage is attributed to the aging adult crowd, “the baby boomers”, who have grown up with computers when their parents did not. It would be interesting to see if there are additional reasons to explain the growing rate of Canadian’s utilizing the internet, for example post secondary institutions who offer online courses to complete full diplomas rather than having in-class lessons.

  20. Ashleigh

    I feel that Canadian use the Internet more than other countries rely on the web daily for different activities, from school and work or just surfing the net. It is very easy to access and it is cheap to use. The ability to shop online also adds to the amount of time due to the fact that instead of people going out to the stores they will search for hours on the Internet finding something they like. We can almost get all the answers to any questions we have from the web. The downsides of Canadians using it more than others is that some countries may not have all the technology as we have here. Also, the fact the younger kids are starting to use the Internet more often as well can take away from physical activities and physically interacting with others. We rely on the Internet so much that when it is down, we almost do not know what to do.

  21. Chelsa

    Canadians use the Internet more than other countries because we have access to it. The majority of Canadians have access to high speed internet that makes video streaming and downloading worthwhile. I also believe Canadians use the Internet the most because we are bored. Many University students are on Facebook all day long. Other students are constantly checking their e-mail and I know I use the internet a lot to watch TV online because I do not have access to the channels I like to watch. A lot of people play video games online. I know people who spend the majority of their time in the online community. A down side to high internet usage is people aren’t going out and interacting with each other. Interaction is being done mostly through the internet. Canadians health may also suffer because they are spending more time online and less time being active.

  22. Rio P

    It is difficult to say why Canadians spend so much time on the internet. I feel that it is partly because with isolation in some areas of Canada, having the internet is a great way to reach out to the rest of the world and discover what is going on. I also feel that having the education system that we do today, we understand the need and the importance to having and using the internet. The ability to use the internet effectively gives Canadians advantages in business and other areas as well. The downside to having such a dependence on the internet would be that if we were somehow subject to lose access to the internet, our lives would come to a complete stand-still. Accessing the information that we want/need as well as having the ability to contact business groups across the world would be cut off and Canadians would be lost. A harsh reality to our dependence on technology.

  23. Prab Grewal

    I feel that as Canadians we use the internet much more than other countries is because it is very easy to get our hands on it. Personally I believe due to the massive size of Canada internet is a great way to communicate from city to city. For example from Vancouver to Halifax is just a click away. Another reason is when it comes to our businesses and our post secondary institutions are mostly online which makes things a lot easier and convenient. It is easier to shop, bank, study, etc, online. The negatives of Canadians relying to much on the internet is the odd times when it the internet is down we freak out and there is nothing we can do. Personally another downside I think is with all the social networks there is too much personal information available online. Finally one more downside is the lack of exercise sitting in front of the internet all day I don’t think is very healthy. Another personal view is i think its better to have a conversation with someone in person instead of over the internet.

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