A new report by Simplii Financial shows just how much Canadians are attached to the digital world.

The Deep Dive on Digital Trends in Canada report examined everything from the Canadian sharing economy, to app culture to online habits. It was released on Thursday, before National Simplicity Day on July 12.

Aayaz Pira, senior vice-president of CIBC digital
Aayaz Pira
Senior vice-president of CIBC digital and direct banking

“Digital is unequivocally driving us to live much different lives than 10 years ago. So we decided to ask how Canadians really feel about digital, and to find out if we can honestly say it is changing our lives for the better,” said Aayaz Pira, senior vice-president of CIBC digital and direct banking and head of Simplii Financial, in a news release.

“Digital is making a positive impact in our lives, but there’s an underlying tension. The vast majority (79 per cent) of Canadians agree that digital tools help simplify their lives yet over half (54 per cent) say they want less tech.”

Here are the key findings from the report:

  • The most important motivators for using technology are to simplify life (43 per cent) and save time (40 per cent). When asked what they’re doing with the extra time, 58 per cent say they spend it using more technology while nearly half report socializing with friends/family (45 per cent) and pursuing a passion, hobby or activity (38 per cent).
  • Fifty-seven per cent of Canadians would prefer to email or text versus talk on the phone while only 38 per cent of Canadians would prefer to shop online than in store.
  • Many say they’re paring back their digital tools, with a majority (69 per cent) having done an “app cleanse.” Forty-eight per cent have less than 20 apps and 46 per cent say that most apps they download aren’t useful.
  • When asked about which digital tools or services were making the most positive impact in their lives, Canadians identified digital banking (45 per cent) as number one followed by GPS (42 per cent) and online shopping (40 per cent), music and entertainment (39 per cent) and social networking (37 per cent).
  • Sixty-three per cent of Canadians surveyed want to share more things rather than make new purchases, while 49 per cent have used or use a shopping resale platform; and fewer have used or use a ride share application (23 per cent) or a home sharing app (21 per cent).
  • Women are more likely to use: social media daily (75 per cent versus 62 per cent for men); share more instead of buy more (68 per cent versus 57 per cent); undertake do-it-yourself projects using digital tools like YouTube (41 per cent versus 26 per cent); and incorporate digital into their fitness routines (25 per cent versus 20 per cent);
  • Men are more likely to: use the time saved from digital tools to watch TV or listen to music (43 per cent versus 35 per cent of women); use SMART home devices (twice as a likely); want more technology (52 per cent versus 40 per cent); and use digital tools to keep up with news (43 per cent versus 35 per cent).

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