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Social and non social media users during the covid-19 confinement period in Canada
Social and Non Social Media Users During The COVID-19 Pandemic Confinement Period in Canada: The "Plugged-In", Unplugged and Other Population Segments
School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies, University of Ottawa, Canada,
Department of Communication, University of Ottawa
Canadians are using a variety of social and non-social media vehicles to gather information, share experiences and express anxieties during the COVID-19 confinement period. The purpose of the study is to produce a portrait of media use in Canada, paying special attention to the typical population segments in the Canadian population differentiated by their media vehicles and sources of information about the pandemic. The study used as its data source a survey sample of 4,600 adult Canadians aged 15 years old and over during the period of July 20-26 2020, and collected by Statistics Canada. Media user activities comprised a set of 11 dichotomous scales collecting data on main sources of information such as social media posts, online news, online magazines, video platforms, e-mails as well as non internet-based sources. A market segmentation analysis of these scales using Principal Components and k-means cluster analysis revealed the presence of six major population segments: Social Media Buffs (27%), News Followers (33%), Unplugged (10%),Plugged-In (7%), E-Mailers (7%) and Mixed Source Users (16%). This study suggests that media users in Canada constitute a very diverse group of individuals who are engaged in social and non social media to obtain timely information about the pandemic. However, they can also be exposed to inaccurate, misleading information about the virus, its transmission and its treatments.
Full study available at: https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/ax9vm/