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Cable Technology Feature Article

September 28, 2009

Majority of Canadian Children 'Internet Interactive' Before Age Seven: Survey

By Vivek Naik, TMCnet Contributor

According to a new survey, 75 percent of Canadian children who used the Internet are proficient on it by the age of seven and 69 percent of Canadian parents think it is important for children to be technology-savvy from an early age.
The Ipsos Reid “Canadians and Technology” survey, commissioned by TELUS, polled 4,466 respondents and discovered  that more than 50 percent of parents with teens found that the Internet encourages independent learning and 44 percent of fathers believe limiting their children’s use of technology will hold them back. According to the survey, 74 percent of children are allowed to spend between one and five hours per week on the Internet and 59 percent of teens agree that they “cannot live without access to the Internet.”
The survey also showed that Canadians believe the Internet, mobile phones and television serve the purpose of connecting families, and bringing them closer together and that technology helps to strengthen relationships. 83 percent of respondents agreed that technology helps keep their family organized and that the Internet has improved their connection with family and friends. 57 percent of Canadians feel that pre-recorded TV helps them stay close as a family because it gives them the freedom to watch their favourite shows when they have time together.
“Canadian families have moved from being groups to being social networks,” said Dr. Barry Wellman, the S.D. Clark professor of sociology at the University of Toronto. “Each family member goes about their separate agendas, but links up at night and by new media throughout the day. Their lives have expanded beyond their homes and neighbourhoods, and at the same time, we're communicating more than ever.”
To stay connected with one’s family, 60 percent of Canadians use the phone, 18 percent use face-to-face communications and 82 percent of parents say that one of the reasons their child has a mobile phone is so that they can stay in contact with their child when they're not around.
“Technology is having a dramatic impact on our daily lives,” said Joe Natale, president of TELUS (News - Alert) Consumer Solutions. “From the survey results, it’s clear that networked families are using technology to improve their quality of life, staying better connected to each other and the world around them.”
The Ipsos Reid survey also revealed that Canadians are using technology in different ways across the country, Atlantic Canadians are more Internet-savvy and spend about 10.5 hours online every week, British Columbia residents spend 6.4 hours every week conducting research online, Ontario students spend 3.2 hours per week doing homework online and 73 percent of Quebec residents watch TV to relax.
Natale added, “Technology provides Canadian families with a sense of security, as well as easy access to a wealth of entertainment and information options delivered on the move with immediacy unavailable to previous generations.”
The U.S. too, is very keen that all Americans, without exception, should be Internet interactive as is evident from the Rural Mobile Broadband Alliance of the United States of America had reportedly launched the RuMBA (News - Alert) American Broadband Bill of Rights (ABBoR) that throws the voice of the people behind the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009, also called the Federal Stimulus Package – initiative, which calls for unserved, rural and underprivileged citizens must have the maximum possible continuous access to wired broadband and Wi-B as soon as possible since broadband is gaining in popularity and it is expected to expose potential users to the same wealth of information, ideation and opportunity that existing users experience.

Vivek Naik is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Vivek's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison