Is the rift between the older and younger generations doomed to last forever?

There’s no doubting that the rift between the older and younger generations of Canadians has been exacerbated in recent months and years. And nowhere is this rift more apparent than when it comes to the use of leisure time: the activities of older Canadians in their downtime are markedly different to those of younger generations, and the statistics bear this out.

What’s also true is that the underlying attitudes to different ways of spending leisure time are different. Younger Canadians tend to be more liberal when it comes to things like gambling, while older Canadians often take a more conservative attitude. But is this doomed to remain the case forever? Or is the divide overblown, and not worth paying attention to? This blog post will explore these key questions.

Use of leisure time

The statistics show that there’s a big demographic difference in the way that people spend their leisure time in Canada. It’s possible for example, that those who play in an online casino will be younger. One study found that 42% of young Canadians had played some form of gambling game – suggesting that there is a clear trend towards younger people using gambling services. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that no older people play gambling games, it does show that there’s a clear link between youth and propensity to spend leisure time on iGaming sites.

Older people in Canada, meanwhile, are statistically more likely to spend time on other forms of gambling. With distinctly more expendable income, an online casino Canada real money is a more affordable form of entertainment. While it might seem counter-intuitive older generations are likely to use an online casino over a land based one, this is untrue. One study found that nine out of ten older Canadians spent time on an average day either reading or in front of the television – suggesting that the older you get, the more likely you are to find yourself enjoying leisure pursuits that are a little more gentle in nature.

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The same study, however, found that around three-quarters of Canadians who are aged over 65 got out and about for some exercise as part of their leisure regime. Given that younger Canadians also prioritize exercise, there’s perhaps less of a stark difference as had previously been assumed.

Underlying assumptions

It’s also important to note that attitudes towards leisure can change on demographic grounds. One study, for example, found that young people in Canada tend to believe that cannabis use is less harmful than alcohol: in the context of national debate about drug legalization, this offers an interesting insight into how young people are perceiving their rights and responsibilities when it comes to how they choose to spend their leisure time.

It’s not simple, of course. Canada is, on the whole, a relatively liberal nation – at least compared to some of the states over the border in the US. Canada is somewhat more progressive on a host of leisure-related issues, and it’s far from the case that every older person is necessarily conservative. These are simply trends that indicate what might be the case on aggregate, allowing those who monitor sociological differences to develop a deeper understanding of what drives Canadians when they choose how to spend their downtime.

Form, but not content?

It’s worth considering, though, whether or not the perception of a rift between the two generations is somewhat overblown. It’s not necessarily the case that the two “sides” of the generational divide are taking radically different approaches to leisure – even if, on the surface, it might look stark and separate.

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While the content of the leisure time might be different along generational lines, the form might continue to be the same nonetheless. Take the example of social media. Younger Canadians might find themselves sharing dance videos on TikTok, while older Canadians might be over on Facebook sharing their favourite receipts. In content terms, this is radically different. But the tools and platforms used by the two demographics are actually the same – or, at least, in the same category of item.

Ultimately, it remains unclear whether the rift between the older and younger generations of Canadians is doomed to last forever – or if, indeed, it’s even real. In one sense, the statistics show that there is a clear gap between what older Canadians do and what younger ones do – but the argument is muddled by differing perspectives. In the end, it may simply take more time for people to work out whether or not this rift can be healed – or whether it ever existed at all.

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