Britons ‘wedded to digital devices’

The image of family members sitting next to each other on the sofa but choosing to communicate via Facebook may not be far from the truth, according to new research.

Britons’ umbilical attachment to technology means that more than 22 million consumers (45%) now use technological devices to communicate with friends and family even when they are under the same roof, the inaugural Halifax Digital Home Index discovered.

A fifth (22%) of respondents said they preferred to speak on the phone or via social media rather than face to face, the Halifax study found.

The same trend is also evident in the retail world, with e-commerce websites booming as consumers forgo the crush of the high street in favour of tranquil browsing in the comfort of their own home.

Our love of digital technology means that three quarters (73%) of the UK population would feel twitchy going even one day without their smartphones, laptops and MP3 players, the survey revealed.

One in four (25%) even check portable devices in bed, with one in ten taking their smartphones and tablets into the bathroom with them.