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Yuri Arcurs

Those kids, wasting all that time on social media... wait. A new survey shows older Canadians are increasingly logging on to connect with others.

A Harris-Decima survey of at least 1,000 Canadians found that 68 per cent of them used social media in 2011, up from 57 per cent two years ago, according to CP. The survey was conducted for The Canadian Press.

Behind that increase is a surge in participation by those over the age of 50, reports CP.

Back in 2009, only 39 per cent of people over 50 said they'd signed on. This time around, it's 57 per cent.

"They're getting more comfortable online," Mike Leahy, senior Harris-Decima vice-president told CP.

"My impressions are that they are communicating with different generations, who are very active in social media."

Facebook remains the "Goliath" of the sharing technologies, with 97 per cent of respondents involved in social networking using the site.

And Twitter is slowly gaining momentum with 15 per cent of those surveyed regularly keeping their thoughts to 140 characters. That's up from just 2 per cent in 2009.

My Space's fortunes have traveled in the other direction, plunging from 14 per cent two years ago to just four per cent, reports CP.

The survey also found that we're all getting accustomed to engaging with brands in our social media spaces.

The poll found a healthy 29 per cent of social networking participants interact with a consumer brand, CP reports.

And of those, 73 per cent interact with up to five brands, while 21 per cent interact with six or more brands - which is good for the brands, of course.

"Social networking allows for a dialogue to develop between the consumer and the brand (which is) very powerful when trying to understand and respond to consumers' needs," Harris-Decima said in an analysis.

Mr. Leahy said advertiser spending on social media is still "very small" but growing but said the "opportunity for dialogue" between brand and consumer is really important.

The figures are based on a number of online and telephone polls run between 2009 and 2011 with at least 1,000 respondents in each, Harris-Decima said.

Does it seem like the average age of your Facebook friends is inching up? And what about all that connecting with brands? Does age have anything to do with that?