Last week a documentary by Prof Susan Greenfield and Prof Gary Cooper asked the questions, “Is technology taking over our lives? Destroying communication? Changing behaviour? Addicted to being permanently connected? Preferring to text rather than face to face contact?”

Many people are never off line, including late night loggings. Sixty percent of our teenagers are ‘living on line’ digitally wired to telephones, twenty four seven.

Prof Cooper stressed that we need to find a different lifestyle and he tested a group without their phones for a week to get their lives back.

It was stressed that technology has opened up the lives for people who are severely physically handicapped.

However, Prof Greenfield pointed out that using the internet 10 hours a day shrinks the brain, a balance is needed.

The need to communicate on a personal level is absolutely vital and it is a nourishing stimulus to the heart and soul.

The most disturbing factor of all is the shocking amount of bullying online and the appalling instructions to our young best to commit suicide!

The networking site Twitter posted very cruel and deeply offensive messages to the singer Adele just hours after she had given birth to her first child. Shocking!

Occasionally, people find their inner strength to stand up to the bully.

It was truly heartening to read on October 12 of Sophie Thorne, a 17-year-old New College student, who had endured dreadful threats.

Sophie has now created a short film and launched her own campaign. As she rightly points out, this kind of bullying is as bad as physical bullying.

Society across the age span needs to feel safe and protected from the downside of technology.

Social interaction from birth is crucial to our quality of life. Otherwise, the 22nd century will herald the robotic age of humankind, unable to read, write and communicate with each other. Perhaps the latter is already here?

Mary Ratcliffe Old Town, Swindon Cold comfort Another round of gas/electric energy rises have taken place.

Another totally useless round of advice from this out-of-touch Government.

“Simplify the tarriffs” they chorus. This will not lower costs for ordinary people struggling to keep warm.

The Government’s aim, surely, ought to be to curtail the Mafia who run the energy companies.

I don't think either the present Government or the opposition care a fig about the population and its concerns with rising costs.

They realise we are an aging population – post war baby boomers – and so under the guise of “tough decisions,” “we are all in this together,” and “healing is taking place,” (Doctor Cameron now) many pensioners will die this winter, either from hypothermia or starvation: This is what the Tories mean when they quote “choice.”

Cameron, is a man from an ultra-privileged background, so what’s an increase in energy bills to him? He probably doesn't know what one even looks like; his butler deals with the bills I suspect.

Out of sympathy with the rest of us the House of Commons and that infamous retirement home, the House of Lords, should at least twice a week (after all it’s our money that pays for it) turn their heating off. Then let’s see how they function.

The Government should nationalise the energy companies forthwith.

There is no alternative. Otherwise it reveals that the Tory toffs really couldn’t give a damn.

J Adams Bloomsbury, Swindon

EU hits business

EU Local Council Procurement Directives mean that all council contracts have to be put out via an EU-wide tendering process.

This is required whether it be for road maintenance or even for new desks.

This is a very slow and costly process. These EU Procurement Directives make it illegal for our council to support local Swindon businesses, and also prevent councils from giving preference towards goods and services that are produced here in Britain.

Terry Hayward Burnham Road, Swindon

Whose fault?

Ms Moody should really check her facts before she drags people into Swindon and show us up.

If she bothers to check, she will find that if you go back a few years, it was the Labour-run council which gave planning permission for half of Regent Street and the best part of Fleet Street to be turned into a drinkers’ paradise.

If there are now problems, she should ask the Labour councillors responsible for that to answer. She might also like to tell people about the crime figures released by the police authorities last week.

T Reynolds Wheeler Avenue Swindon

Calling carers

Carers UK is conducting research to understand the pressure juggling raising children with looking after elderly relatives has on families.

A survey can be completed in about 15 minutes and will be vital in improving the help and support we can give those who find themselves “sandwich carers.”

The survey can be found at Heléna Herklots Chief Executive, Carers UK