Canadians less likely to text holiday greetings
TORONTO—Would you dash off a quick text message to wish a friend or family member a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or Joyous Kwanzaa instead of calling?
Cellphone-toting Canadians appear less likely than their global counterparts to text message home for the holidays, according to the results of an online Ipsos poll of 18,000 people in 24 countries.
That actually was the lowest percentage among the two-dozen countries involved in the survey, and well below the global average of 73 percent.
Aimee Morrison, an associate professor who researches digital culture at the University of Waterloo, said she thought the numbers would have been much lower—even though she’s done some holiday texting herself.
She suggested a couple of reasons people choose to send a short message during the holidays rather than picking up the phone.
“Sometimes people use text messaging as a politeness strategy, you might say, ‘I know you’re really busy so I just texted you, call me if you get a chance.’
“The idea that when you make a phone call to someone, you are implying that it is worth them stopping whatever they are doing, answering your call, and talking to you,” Morrison reasoned.
“Other people text as an avoidance strategy—like, I’m going to text this person because if I call, she’s just going to want to talk to me for 45 minutes about her kids and I kind of want to do what has to get done but not have it take more than 13 seconds.”
Canadian women taking part in the poll were more likely than men to text their friends and family during the holidays.
Meanwhile, about 46 percent of the Canadians surveyed said they’ve used Skype, FaceTime, or another video-conferencing app to communicate with family members, compared to the global average of 42 percent.
Morrison said she doesn’t take offence to communicating digitally instead of by phone over the holidays.
“If you’re going to send me a text, I’m going to be glad you’re thinking of me at the holidays at all,” she remarked.