HALIFAX – A new report says Canadians are spending more time surfing the web than ever before, raising concerns about how technology distracts from real-world relationships.
The report from Media Technology Monitor says on average, anglophone Canadians who were surveyed spent 24.5 hours online per week in 2016, up about two hours from the previous year.
But it says younger Canadians, age 18 to 34, spent even more time on the Internet — an average of 34 hours per week in 2016, or nearly five hours per day.
Psychologist David Mensink says the figures concern him because the more time people spend online, the less time they’re devoting to cultivating deeper real-life relationships.
Mensink, who works in student affairs at Dalhousie University in Halifax, says even if we’re communicating with others while online, we still need to make time for real contact because it is the essence of being human.
He says Canadians should moderate their Internet usage and make dedicated times for face-to-face interactions with their loved ones.
The report is based on telephone interviews conducted with 4,157 anglophone Canadians from all regions between Oct. 7 and Dec. 12, and the results are accurate within plus or minus 1.5 percentage points 19 times out of 20.