Technologies such as social networking, SMS and email leave a third of Brits 'overwhelmed', says BT.

According to research conducted by the University of Cambridge on behalf of the telecommunications company revealed 38 percent of 10 to 18 year olds feel this way and 34 percent of 25 to 38 year olds experience the same feelings.

Furthermore, just under two thirds (64 percent) of UK kids admitted they prefer face-to-face communication over all other forms of conversing, while 65 percent of adults said the same thing. BT also said those who admitted to frequently feeling 'overwhelmed' are more likely to feel less satisfied with their life as a whole.

Meanwhile, more than a third of adults (36 percent) and 43 percent of those aged 10 to 18 said they were taking steps to limit their daily technology usage with 42 percent of adults and kids reducing the amount of time they spend on social networks such as Facebook. One in five (20 percent) have limited the number of texts they spend and 19 percent claimed they'd cut down on the amount of emails they send.

More than a third (36 percent) of parents claim technology sometimes disrupts family life and 58 percent believe their family will benefit from occasions when all communications technology is switched off.

Nearly one in five people (19 percent) say they use communication technology for more than seven hours per day and more than a third (37 percent) believe this will increase in the future.

"There is much discussion about whether communications technology is affecting us for the better or worse. The research has shown that communications technology is seen by most as a positive tool but there are examples where people are not managing usage as well as they could be – it is not necessarily the amount but the way in which it is used," said Professor John Clarkson, director of the Engineering Design Centre at the University of Cambridge and Principal Investigator of the study.

According to Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT Retail, the research revealed that technology itself is not the problem.

"Compare it to food," he said.

"To stay healthy, you need to eat a balanced diet. The same is true when it comes to using technology; you need to find a balance which works for you."

As a result BT has created the Balanced Communications Diet, the telecomm company's equivalent of "the five a day you need to help maintain a healthy relationship with technology".

The diet urges families to keep a log of their technology use to identify the good and bad habits, as well as the changes that must be made. The diet also advises web users to set boundaries on when and where technology can be used and educate kids on the importance of balance and safety when it comes to communicating via technology.

The Balanced Communications Diet can be downloaded from BT's dedicated web page.