Youngsters are turning 'skin hungry' as networking online leaves them feeling as lonely as the elderly, a study has found.
Having an average of 243 Facebook friends, teenagers are spending so much time on the internet that they have little time to move out with friends, Daily Mail reported the study as stating.
Commissioned by Yours magazine, the study included people aged between 18 and 80, it found that over a third of people spend more time chatting online than going out with friends.
Sixty percent of those surveyed said they found it difficult to make friends 'in real life' compared with online and a similar number (69 per cent) said they believe that Britain is an unfriendly place to live.
According to relationship expert Julie Peasgood, instead of breaking down society's barriers, technology has made us more isolated and it is affecting young people.
She said: "You can't hug a Facebook friend. Touch calms us, heals us and allows us to connect with other people.
"It is the only basic sense considered to be essential for human life and 'skin hunger' is now recognised as being the adult version of the 'failure to thrive' syndrome seen in Second World War babies in orphanages."