Canadians are glued to social media, spending up to half their workday scrolling through Facebook, Twitter (now X), and other platforms. However, despite this hefty chunk of their time, they show little interest in engaging with government content on social media.
This stark finding comes from a federal government report commissioned by the Privy Council. Focus groups across Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Quebec revealed that:
Social media use skyrocketed in the past decade: Almost everyone uses it, with some even reporting “constant” use throughout the day.
Entertainment and personal connections dominate: Facebook, X, and TikTok reign supreme, primarily used for fun and interacting with friends and family.
Government content gets the cold shoulder: Few participants follow official government accounts or seek information about national issues on social media, even though they spend hours on these platforms.
LinkedIn stands out: This platform is used mainly for professional purposes, with users seeking career-related information and development.
This shift in media habits is dramatic compared to just a decade ago. A 2015 study by the Department of National Defence found television as the top media source, followed by newspapers, with Facebook and Twitter trailing behind.
The government’s challenge now is to bridge this gap and reach Canadians on social media, where they spend so much of their time. The report suggests that engaging content, tailored to different platforms and aligned with users’ interests, might be key to capturing their attention and informing them about national affairs.