Switch on to switch off, Virgin Media research claims

A new report commissioned by Virgin Media and carried out by The Future Laboratory claims that two thirds of the UK loves being connected at all times and feels more relaxed when connected than when not.

These people have even been given a media friendly name: 'SOSOs' – those who switch on to switch off. Apparently SOSO behaviour is not only reflected in a love of being connected to technology but also by anxiety caused by the implications of not being connected.

Over a third (35 per cent) experienced anxiety when not able to use technology to stay in touch with their family, around a third (31 per cent) was most anxious about not being able to make money/work online and 27 per cent was most concerned with not being able to connect to friends. Anxiety is also apparent when technology can't be called upon to provide advice, whether through online maps (25 per cent), dating (21 per cent) or shopping for the best deals (15 per cent).

Says psychologist Nik Simpson: "At any moment, an urgent email may ping into an inbox, a client may call, an old friend may get in touch via Facebook or a family member may want to get in touch. Therefore, to disconnect from technology may mean missing something we cannot afford to. Always being connected actually becomes increasingly essential for peace of mind, further reinforcing SOSO values."