Social Media

Although the adoption of social media has been rapid and widespread in Canada, rates of use vary considerably between demographic groups like age and gender.  These demographics highlight interesting statistics about the use of social media in Canada.

Internet use has increased in all categories since 2000, seniors being the fastest growing group of users. A survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that, in December 2008, 75% of adults aged 18 to 24 who used the Internet had a profile on a social network site. This rate was less than 20% among those 45 years of age and older and just 7%

In the next couple years I suspect there will be an increase in the amount of seniors (60+) that use social networking. This is due to a couple of different things. Firstly, seniors are retired and have lots of time to kill, allowing them to spend long periods of time on the internet. Also, finding a old friend from high school can be very rewarding to senior citizens who have lost touch with old friends. Before websites like Facebook finding and communicating with old friends was difficult.

According to Statistics Canada survey results for 2007, an equal proportion of Canadian men and women – just under 75% – had used the Internet in the previous year. However, their patterns are different. Men used the Internet at home more often and for longer periods than women, and earlier data showed that women were more likely than men to use the Internet to communicate with family and friends. Gender differences are also apparent in the use of social media. A 2009 Ipsos Reid survey of Canadians aged 18 and over who go online showed that women (59%) were slightly more likely to have a social network profile than men (52%) and that Facebook was the dominant social networking site among Canadian adults.

In the future I expect that women will account for a vast majority of the online presence. Women are natural communicators and the social media websites offers instant communication. Many women will be empowered by the internet and it will actually assist in promoting gender equality in society. The internet is a vast sea of opportunity for women.

Below is an example of how one Senior citizen uses social media to share her recipes online, her show is entitled “Cooking with Bubbe.”

http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2010-05-e.htm

By: Nicole Johns

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