Research from 118 118 apparently shows that British addiction to the internet is reaching new levels "with growing numbers of Britons suffering increased stress when unable to get their on-line hit".

This supposed increased stress is defined as a "feeling of distress or anxiety when unable to gain immediate information access", and has been given a nice, shiny, new, made-up name: "discomgoogolation".

The data is a from a YouGov study of 2100 Britons that revealed 76% of us said we couldn’t live without the Internet with 17% saying the longest they have been away from the Internet is less than 1 day.

Other stand-out stats show 44% of Britons polled felt "frustrated and confused" whilst unable to get online, 53% use the Internet between 1 and 4 hours a day, 47% said the Internet is more important than religion and 26% stated the Internet is "absolutely vital" to organising their lives.

If those stats don't make your brain boggle then consider that 19% spend more time on the Internet than with their family in an average week, 17% miss the Internet more than their friends and 20% pay the Internet more notice than their partners.

"The proliferation of Broadband has meant for the first time in history we have entered a culture of ‘instant answers’ – a galaxy of information is just a mouse click away and we have become addicted to the web", the boffin behind the study, Dr David Lewis, said.

"When unable to get online, Discomgoogolation takes over. It was surprising to see the stress this led to – brain activity and blood pressure in participants both increased in response to being cut off from the internet."