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Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest

The Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest brings together addiction and mental health service providers, researchers and subject matter experts in the fields of gambling, technology/Internet use and video gaming to collaborate and share knowledge on emerging trends and clinical best practices.

Article: (1) Tech addiction among older adults - Winnipeg |

"According to 2020 data from Statistics Canada, about 12 per cent of people 65 and older check their smartphone at least every 30 minutes, and more than 22 per cent said it was the first thing they do after waking up. Between 2020 and 2022, the percentage of adults between 65 and 74 who used a smartphone to access the internet rose from 59 to 68 per cent."

The following are 3 popular reasons people 65+ have listed to explain their increased technology use.

  1. COVID
    • People are describing that they use their phones as a means to stay connected. It started as a healthy connection point when COVID was new and dangerous to the aging population. During COVID many people lost connection to the outside world due to their physical isolation needs. This creates a dependency on technology and will increase their tolerance levels over time through continuous exposure.
  2. Lonely
    • People were using their phones to connect more during COVID leading to their inevitable skill building on how to use technology. This created a new world of possibilities for people in that they can now connect virtually, removing the need to meet in person or join groups. By proxy, this removes many "third spaces" - third in that they are not home or work. Third spaces are used to create friendships and foster skill development such as communication and teamwork. This is a potential for conflict with family and friends.
  3. Unwind at night
    • Using their phones to check social media before bed and staying on until 2am. This is a great example of salience (when an activity becomes a top priority). These individuals are prioritizing their screen time over their sleep hygiene.
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