Researchers have found that 49 per cent of British children aged 12 and under would feel "sad" without access to the internet, while one in five would be lonely.
The Digital Futures study quizzed 1,000 children between the ages of eight and 16 about the impact the web has on their lives.
They found that the emotional attachment to the internet was even more prevalent in teens, with a massive 60 per cent of kids between 12 and 16 saying they would be sad without their web access and 48 per cent admitting they would be lonely.
The poll was carried out by research company Intersperience. Its findings also revealed that teens are the heaviest users of mobile devices, whilst toddlers dominate the iPad in families.
Chief executive at Intersperience Paul Hudson told the Telegraph: "The fact that children have a strong emotional attachment to the internet is often regarded as a negative thing, but in fact it is perfectly natural for a generation whose social life is largely online.
"It's equivalent to taking a phone away from older people, they'd feel sad and lonely too."
The survey found that kids under 12 were "sophisticated internet users" with 74 per cent playing online games, 65 per cent using the web for homework and more than a third using websites to look for things to buy or sell.
Recession-busting children were also found to be going online to check prices for clothes or other fashion items.
Surprised? Or do you note a change in your child's mood if your web connection goes down?
How important is the internet to your children?