See point 3 below. All points relate back to this article.
1) I, for one, spend more than 43.5 hours online per week (counting browser uptime at work), let alone month. That being said, if the rest of the civilized world spends at most 3/4 that amount of time then it’s clear the Canadian average is unusually high. So how does the global average work out to fully half of the Canadian average? Are Kalahari bushmen checking NBA scores in between milking their goats?
2) 25 million Canadian are “online”. No definition is provided for what “online” means, but for the sake of discussion I’ll take it to mean “is a person who has an internet connection readily available and regularly logs on to use Google and retrieve email*” which I can see applying to 5 out of 6 Canadians. What I’m curious about are the 1 in 6 Canadians who have no online presence at all. A few hundred thousand Luddites and homeless schizophrenics I can imagine; a few hundred thousand more living far enough away from civilization to make internet connectivity too difficult to bother with**; but 5 million people? I can’t see immigrants abjuring online communications just because it was’t available in the old country. Are these missing people all infants? My nephew knew how to log onto the ‘net when he was less than two years old, as a reference; I’m pretty sure computer use approaches 100% by primary school age and computers are ubiquitous in public schools.
3) Internet use is down in the 0-17 age range. I can’t believe it’s because modern kids are too keen for fresh air to sit at a computer. That only leaves fewer kids as an answer. So who’s gonna pay for the CPP when all the Boomers retire in five years? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
4) I’m heartened by the growth in political website surfers, obviously.
*Or log onto Facebook or whatever. Email use is on the decline according to this article.
**For instance, the combined population of Yukon, Northwest, and Nunavut territories is presently about 107249, and most of those people live in communities that have modern communications capability. The population density slowly increases as one approaches the America border, but by the time you start getting into real numbers you’re well within Canada’s telecommunications network. I don’t think this explanation accounts for much.
Update: My friend DeLonghi Johnson writes*:
I get this all totally. The kids are too busy texting and having rainbow parties, the internet is passé. Besides, they don’t want to learn anything and have no interests, so why would they use the internet? It’s so ‘90’s”. The median age group has “been there, done that” and only uses the ‘net when it has to. It’s no longer an object of curiousity and wonder. Besides, like me, most PC users have become so frustrated with the computing experience that we’d rather do something else. Like buy an IPad or a Kindle. Y’know, things that actually work.
Now the +55’s – they think this interweb thing is the cat’s ass and I’m glad they’re embracing it. Maybe they’ll learn to blog and contribute some intelligence.
The big question still remains: why can’t I get an internet connection at my fu**ing house?
Um, that would be because you’re in a location even more obscure than Yellowknife.
*A pseudonym. Real name and location(s) undisclosable. It’s better for the world that way.