10/13/2009 12:03:00 PM
Brits want to be connected all the time
Two thirds of the UK population like to be connected to technology at all times, while a third experience anxiety if they are not connected, according to a new study commissioned by Virgin Media.
The study claimed that people now feel more relaxed when connected than when not. Experts have dubbed such people as ‘SOSOs’, those who switch on to switch off.
The report was undertaken by trend analysts and ethnographic researchers at The Future Laboratory, who surveyed 1,000 Britons between the ages of 18 and 65.
The researchers found that far from being technophobes over a third (35%) feel anxious if they are not able to use technology to stay in touch with their family. Some 31% were most anxious about not be able to make money or work online; and 27% were most concerned about not being able to connect to friends.
People are also increasingly reliant on using technology to provide advice and feel anxious when they cannot access it, whether from online maps (25%), dating (21%) or shopping for the best deals (15%). Being connected is becoming increasingly essential for peace of mind, the study observed.
The report discovered that a large percentage of stay-at-home parents are SOSOs. Almost half (48%) find being connected at all times relaxing, giving rise to what is being defined at the ‘Neo-Nest’.
A 2008 report found that parents are much more likely to go online than their child-free peers, often seeking advice about parenting issues. Stay-at-home parents are confined to the house for long periods, so the internet and the phone are used to replace former social networks.
Stay-at-home parents are the most likely group to be surfing channels; nearly half continually have digital TV on, while they are also the most frequent users of mobile phones (62%). Many have more than one device on or on standby. Half of British households always have laptops (74%), mobile phones (76%) and TVs (74%) switched on simultaneously.
The study also pointed out that children are adopting SOSO behaviour much faster than their parents and said that technology will be intrinsic to the lives of future generations.
‘The idea of switching off and not being able to connect to others at an instant will not only be foreign to them, but seem counter-productive to society,’ the researchers concluded.