Going offline stresses people out

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Being cut off from the internet or losing mobile phone coverage can cause high levels of anxiety, according to a survey carried out for Virgin Media.

Two-thirds of the 1,000 people surveyed said they could only feel happy and calm when they had access to the internet.

Eighty-five percent of full-time mothers said they were connected to the internet all the time at home, and a third of people said they felt no guilt about being permanently connected.

While 28 percent of people said they felt liberated if they were disconnected, 29 percent said it made them anxious. Over a third said  the anxiety was caused by not being able to stay in touch with family, which 31 percent were concerned about work and 27 percent missed their friends.

"An 'always on' lifestyle may not be for everyone but the report highlights that there is a significant number of people for whom always being connected actually increases peace of mind," said Mark Schweitzer, Virgin Media CEO.

The Future Laboratory, which carried out the survey, coined the term SoSos to describe this latter group - those who switch on to switch off.