Some Canadians 'can't live' without cellphones
Published Wednesday, July 18, 2007 10:58AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 18, 2012 6:35PM EDT
A new study says Canadians are becoming increasingly dependent on email, cellphones and social networking for their communication needs.
In the study released Tuesday, conducted by Angus Reid Strategies, 36 per cent of Canadians said they could not live without email and 47 per cent said that it made their lives better.
"It's the connectivity that people desire," Alan Sawyer a media strategist and consultant told CTV's Canada AM.
"(It's) the ability to stay in touch in various formats with the people that are important to them -- and both email, cellphones -- all of that gives us an extended ability that we never had before."
While Canadians don't comparatively seem to have adopted iPods and BlackBerrys in large numbers -- 60 per cent and 80 per cent respectively say that they do not own these digital devices -- the same cannot be said for the cellphone.
Only 18 per cent of Canadians said they did not own a cellphone and the same percentage said that they could not live without their cellphone.
"Before there were cellphones, there were conventional land line telephones and people were just as dependent on those," Sawyer said.
"The reason cellphones have taken off is it's such a familiar paradigm. You're going straight from something people have grown up using in one format and just shifting it to a slightly different format so it's a very easy transition for people to go to that and it extends the experience beyond what it's traditionally been, but it's still the conventional way of keeping in touch with people."
While also acknowledging the addictive allure of BlackBerrys and social networking websites, Sawyer said people adjust their technology usage to their personal taste and was hesitant to call the reliance of Canadians on these forms of communication a disease, but acknowledged that it 'maybe a compulsion.'
"It does reach the point where if you become so used to having your BlackBerry or comparable device and you don't have it, you do feel disconnected and you do feel out of touch and you wonder what you're missing" Sawyer said.