My best friend is a PC

We love computers, we do

There is a good chance your kids think more highly of their computer more than they do of you, according to a survey published today.

Children in Britain are bonding, en masse, with technology: nearly half (45 per cent) consider their computer a friend, and nearly two thirds (61 per cent) say they are extremely fond of their PCs. Adults are less sentimental. Even so, a third consider their chunk of silicon and plastic to be a buddy, and close to half say they'd be lost without it.

That kids bond with inanimate objects is, as anyone who has tried to remove a favourite teddy from the hands of a child can verify, old news. Other findings are more peculiar:

Nearly a quarter of the UK population thinks that by 2020, their computer will be as important to them as a member of their family. (Fire and rescue services should presumably take note, and plan accordingly.) Similar numbers of people think that their computer is trying to make life difficult for them. Midlanders are most suspicious, with 30 per cent reporting their concern.

We also like to boast to our friends about our PCs, the survey found, and men are twice as likely as women to bring computers into a conversation.

However loved-up this all seems, there are still cynics out there: a third of those surveyed said they felt no emotional attachment at all to their computer.

Tesco, the supermarket chain, is promoting the study as part of its "Computers for Schools" campaign. It found that children mainly use their computers for school work, spending between an hour and an hour and a half at the screen.

We say to the nation's children: don't anthropomorphise computers. They don't like it. ®