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Just as technology has in many ways made lives more hectic, it also plays a corollary role, helping people stay connected, organized and entertained. In Canada, parent internet users were surveyed in January by Ipsos Reid for Microsoft Canada on their families’ use of technology. The vast majority agreed that technology allowed families to stay better connected, with seven out of 10 saying they relied on it for this purpose.
And this is important given that over two-thirds of respondents said families in Canada today have more complex needs in terms of communication, memory sharing and scheduling than families did 10 years ago.
Correspondingly, over three-quarters of respondents said technology allowed families to stay better organized.
Drilling down to the specific technology they used for this purpose, nearly half of respondents reported using email to stay in touch and keep up to date on family members’ comings and goings. Day planners still topped email calendars as the most-used scheduling assistant at 29% vs. 19%. Interestingly, while the same percentage of males and females used email calendars, 23% of males used day planners vs. 36% of females, a reminder that, in terms of managing the family schedule, traditional gender roles may still be in place among many families in Canada.
For capturing, sharing and creating memories, there was broad agreement that technology played a positive role, at about nine out of 10 respondents. Nearly four out of 10 parents surveyed said they sat down with the family to view memories in video and photo format on a computer, tablet or phone at least once a month.
On the entertainment front, internet access has moved front and center among families in Canada. One-third of the parents surveyed said their family downloaded entertainment such as music, movies and games at least weekly. Another quarter streamed entertainment content weekly. Purchasing entertainment content from a retail location meanwhile was going by the wayside. Nearly one-quarter never did this and nearly half did so less than once a month.
From keeping in touch to staying organized to entertaining the family, technology is reshaping how the Canadian family spends its days.
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