Nearly one in five Brits have said something negative about a colleague online that they'd never say to their face, says Yahoo.

Research by the company revealed that Brits are more comfortable expressing themselves online than they are face-to-face, a phenomenon which Yahoo has nicknamed 'netspression'.

Over a third of web users said they find it difficult to talk about relationships and feelings face-to-face, but have no problem discussing the issues online, while one in five admitted they had found out something they never knew about their partner from social networking websites.

And nearly a third of all 16-24 year olds said they'd made a positive comment online that they'd have been too shy to make face-to-face.

When it comes to 'netspression', women most often talk about their family, with 50 percent saying this was their most popular topic of online conservation, while 32 percent of men said they like to talk about the state of the nation when online.

Yahoo also said that 75 percent of over 35s claim they prefer to keep up-to-date with their friends online rather than in real-time, while nearly a quarter of Brits reckon they have made more and kept more friends though online communication. Nearly half of all web users also admitted they spend more time chatting to friends online than on the phone or face-to-face.

"The stereotype is that Britons are typically unexpressive people, but the rise of online communication has highlighted that this isn't true - we just need the right outlet. This study shows that the online world is acting as our self-expression release valve and 'netpression' is an important daily act for millions of Britons," said psychologist Jo Hemmings.

"Thanks to social networking and online self-expression, we expect that Britain will become a more expressive place in the future, as people use their online experiences to learn how to express themselves better face-to-face".

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