Are you too technosexual for your shirt?

THERE are varying degrees of technosexuality by my standards. There are those that get a high from technology itself, the fashionista iPod generation with their designer gadgets and techno language. And there are those that dabble in technology, but use

THERE are varying degrees of technosexuality by my standards.

There are those that get a high from technology itself, the fashionista iPod generation with their designer gadgets and techno language.

And there are those that dabble in technology, but use it as a way to bond with other humans, rather than machines.

Calvin Klein trademarked the word 'technosexual' last year, after the brand launched its iPod-inspired new fragrance CK in2u, believing it would become a buzzword for the texting, blogging generation.

Hardcore technosexuals choose their favourite coffee shop for its Wi-Fi connection rather than its Fairtrade beans.

They can continue chat room conversations while listening to their iPod, writing their latest blog entry and beaming down their web cam.

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But the other breed of technosexuals use gadgets to enhance their lives in other ways.

Dating online has become a huge phenomenon for those too busy, shy, or simply tired of the bar scene and failed attempts to lock eyes with their match over the fruit and veg aisle in Tesco's.

As summer draws near, the streets of Comet country are normally filled with sun loving, fun loving Brits.

But this year the heat has been predicted as reaching unbearable highs, the smoking ban comes in and the laptop may seem a safer, sexier option.

With numbers on community and dating sites at an all time high there is bound to have been a number of success stories.

One of these is Nicola Prebble from Hitchin who connected with her boyfriend through their love of music and high speed broadband.

The 30-year-old shop manager said: "Me and my friend wanted to meet people that are into the same kind of music.

"He messaged me because he lives local, he's only in Luton.

"After a while we agreed to meet and go to see a band together, as friends really, and it escalated from there.

"We'd been talking on MySpace for about three months and we've now been together six months."

Nicola had tried out dating sites before but said: "Some of the dating sites may be OK, but you meet quite a few weirdos.

"It's commonplace now, so many people don't have time or don't go out very often.

"It's an easy way to get to know people, I think you just have to be careful."

Nicola shops online and banks online as well: "It's widely available, you can get more things quickly from all over the world."

But she insists that she knows when to "power off" for the night, "There does need to be a balance, so that you spend only so much time on the internet, but have a life outside it.

"A lot of people are on it from the minute they get up to the minute they go to bed."

University student Andy Neal, 27, said: "I did use online dating sites for dating, but then I realised that it's better to get out there and meet someone.

"I went on a date in Luton and she had green teeth and I wanted to leave immediately.

"On her profile she looked really fit, but when I got there she looked like grotbags!"

But the Stevenage lad uses all the latest gadgets and enjoys being part of an online community.

He said: "It's good if you don't get to see your friends all the time, being away at university, as you can message every couple of days or once a week.

"If you phone them it costs money and you can't afford to spend money that you could spend on beer!"

But he agrees that there is a limit to online socialising: "You're going to get square eyes otherwise. And what's next - virtual sex?!"

There are also safety issues that seem far away in the freedom of cyberspace.

A 26-year-old Letchworth woman who did not want to be named said: ""I go on Facebook every night to see who's new.

"It's interesting to read what people's favourite films are, etc, plus you can hook up with old friends you've lost contact with.

"But on the flip side, you never know who's reading your personal details, perhaps ex-boyfriends and people you'd rather not be reacquainted with."

The buzz from online bonding means you can get caught up in a virtual world with different rules and instant gratification.

I recently found this out after answering a few friends' requests to join Facebook, the online community used to chat with friends, get in touch with people and share photos.

Having a number of email addresses and web pages to check already I soon realised the peril of Facebook - the site was so highly addictive it should bear a warning sign on the homepage. Having spent an exhausting week trying to juggle constant communication with my many friends by email, phone and Facebook, I resigned myself to the fact that I was technosexual, but not that technosexual.

I decided I have too much of an offline social life to keep up yet another form of communication and deactivated my account.

As a journalist and a twenty something the technosexual state is inevitable.

Life is all about communication and being able to communicate any time, anywhere, to everywhere, is wonderful.

But although we've woken up and smelled the scent of the new generation, currently in the form of Klein's CK in2u, sometimes you just want to "power off" and take a breather.

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