While technology has brought numerous benefits
to our personal and professional lives, a recent survey suggests it may be
responsible for Canadians spending less time with their families. While Canada
is one of the world’s most computer-literate nations, a cross-country research
survey by Computing Canada magazine indicates that Canadians have more of a
love/hate relationship with technology.

The survey, conducted by Leger Marketing in conjunction with Computing
Canada’s 30th anniversary, was commissioned to determine how technology is
affecting the average Canadian family.

Surprisingly, more than half of survey respondents (53 per cent) stated
that advancements in technology have caused them to work more, resulting in
less time spent with family and friends. While an overwhelming majority of
respondents (86 per cent) agree that technology has made them more efficient
in the workplace, resulting in an improved quality of life.

“Many of us feel that technology is helping to put the 9-to-5 workday on
the endangered species list,” says Patricia MacInnis, Computing Canada editor.
“Computer technology has got to do a better job of satisfying Canadians at
work and at home. Its promise is to make life easier, but Canadians are
clearly frustrated.”

More than half of survey respondents feel that technology is responsible
for them working longer hours, and 74 per cent – and a staggering 83 per cent
of Quebeckers – feel that children spend too much time on the computer.

“Technology’s role in society tends to be viewed as both necessity and
nuisance,” says Scott Cho, Associate Vice President, Leger Marketing. “While
Canadians crave the efficiency that technology affords, the control it has
over our daily lives can be unsettling.”

Highlights of the Computing Canada/Leger survey:

– Half of the respondents feel that recent advancements in technology
have significantly contributed to Canadians working more. This is
highest among respondents from Ontario and British Columbia

– More than half of the respondents (57 per cent) believe that recent
advancements in technology have caused Canadians to spend less time
with their families, whereas 18 per cent believe the technological
advancements have enabled Canadians to spend more time with their
families. This results in a net less time with family figure of
39 per cent.

– Sixty-five per cent of British Columbians feel that technology makes
them spend less time with family and friends

– Three quarters of respondents (74 per cent) say children spend too
much time on the computer and three per cent say not enough, resulting
in a net “too much time” figure of 71 per cent. Respondents from
Quebec are most likely (83 per cent) to say that children spend too
much time on the computer.

The Computing Canada/Leger Marketing survey sampled 1501 Canadians from
across the country, and has an overall margin of error of +/- 2.5 per cent.