Toronto, 21.06.2016

Only 23% of Canadians Feel They Need to Be “Always Reachable” - 19 Points Below Global Average


In new GfK research, Canadians are among the most resistant to being constantly in touch


New GfK research shows that Canadians strongly value their ability to disconnect.

In just-released data, roughly two in ten (23%) Canadian consumers agree firmly1 with the statement “To me, it is important to always be reachable wherever I am” – and 24 percent firmly disagree1.  The level of agreement is 19 percentage points below the global average (42%), while Canadian disagreement is more than double the global figure (11%).

According to a GfK survey of 22 countries, Russia and China have the highest levels of people online who agree strongly that it is important to them to be always reachable, wherever they are - standing at 56 percent each. They are followed by Turkey at 53 percent. These are the only countries surveyed where over half of their connected consumers agree strongly with that concept.

Running against that international trend are Germany, Sweden, Canada and Netherlands. These countries are the only ones in the survey where greater numbers firmly disagree than agree with the idea that it is important to be always reachable. 

Older Canadians reject “always reachable”

Among the different age groups in Canada, people above age 50 strongly tipped the balance against “always reachable”; just 16% of those 60-plus want to be constantly connected, compared to 36% who firmly disagree with the notion. And only 10% of 40-to-49 Canadians favor being always in touch, while 27% want the option of being “unplugged.”

Only Canadian teens (ages 15 to 19) and those 30 to 39 years old were much more likely to favor being always reachable.

Demand is only slightly higher among women

Looking at the difference between genders, Canadian women are slightly more likely than Canadian men to see being always reachable as important (25% for women versus 22% for men). These figures are essentially equivalent to the levels of those who prefer not to be always in touch – 23% for women and 24% for men.

1 Bottom two boxes and top two boxes from a seven point scale, where “1” means “do not agree at all”, and “7” means “agree completely.”

About the study

The survey question asked: “Here are some general statements about attitudes towards technology and information needs. Please specify a number from 1 to 7 for each statement, where “1” means you do not agree at all, and “7” means that you agree completely: ‘To me, it is important to always be reachable wherever I am’.”

GfK conducted the online survey with over 27,000 consumers aged 15 or older in 22 markets. Fieldwork was completed in June 2015 and data are weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population age 15+ in each market. The markets included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK and USA.


Latest Press Releases

View all Press