A new survey has found 49 per cent of British children aged 12 and under, would be sad without an internet connection, while one in five would be lonely.
The 'Digital Futures' project, which surveyed 1,000 young people in the UK between the ages of eight and 16 about the impact of the internet on their lives, found that the emotional attachment to the web was even stronger with teenagers.
AdvertisementSixty per cent of those aged between 12 and 16, said they would be "sad" without a web connection, while 48 per cent said they would be lonely.
The poll, carried out by British research firm, Intersperience, also found that two-year olds also dominate the family iPad and teenagers are the heaviest users of mobile devices.
"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 Telegraph quoted Intersperience chief executive Paul Hudson as saying.
Children under the age of 12 emerged as 'sophisticated internet users' with 74 per cent playing online games, 65 per cent using the internet for homework and more than a third going online to look for things to buy or sell.
In a cost-conscious climate, young teens are also using the web to check prices for clothes or other fashion items.
"We matched the results against our Digital Selves research on adult behaviour and it shows that even eight to 11 years olds perform a wider daily range of tasks online than grown-ups," Hudson said.
"Adults may be concerned about the strong emotional connection kids have to the internet today but our study shows that far from losing the art of conversation, children still prefer chatting to their friends in person," he added.
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