London: A survey has shown that one in four Britons spend more time socialising online than they do in person.
People now have 11 different ways of staying in contact - which include simple email, messenger, text and several forms of social networking from Twitter to Facebook, said the survey by online casino Yazino.
It found even when there is time to see people face to face, like at a weekend, up to 11 per cent of all adults still choose to stay indoors and communicate instead.
This could be down to laziness, the cost of going out or simply not wanting too much personal contact with friends and family but just enough to swap brief messages and online chats.
The average online Brit spends 4.6 hours a week talking to friends online and only six hours a week talking to people in person, said Yazino.
There is even an army of `extreme sofalisers` - the three per cent who spend a staggering 25 hours or more each week talking to friends via electronic devices.
The survey of 2,000 adults also found 11 per cent organise their social diary around Facebook, Bebo or other network sites.
"Communication is constantly evolving. Some people are as used to seeing their friends online avatar as they are their face," the Telegraph quoted Yazino founder Hussein Chahine as saying.
"We are now just as likely to SMS or email a friend as we are to call them.
"People increasingly prefer quick and frequent engagement with instant updates on news than a prolonged chat and are also finding new ways to catch up with friends from their comfort of their sofa," he added.
More than seven in ten (71 per cent) text their friends and family and 31 per cent use social networking sites while just 27 per cent now use email as their primary means of contact.
A further 18 per cent use live chat and instant messaging systems.