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Stuart McMillen - First Got the Internet comic cover. Parody of Custard We first got the internet when I was twelve years old. Back then, it was costly to go online, and we were charged by the hour. My brother and I were each allowed one hour of internet access every Sunday night. During the week, Andrew and I would write lists of topics to research... silverchair ...and then when Sunday night arrived, we would spend our time accessing as many pages as we could during that hour-long block. Boys looking at 1990s era computer, with Ninties posters for Spiderbait, Nirvana and Recovery in the background.Back then, internet access was a scarcity. Today, it is ubiquitous. The average person has instant internet at their fingertips. Boys looking at purple screen glare at a distance.For me today, always-on internet carries a huge distraction risk. So, as a procrastination-killing method, ...I voluntarily, pre-emptively block myself from accessing the web before 4 p.m. each weekday. Unplugged CAT5 network cable cartoon. I also don't own a smartphone. I have, therefore, deliberately limited my opportunities to spend time online.Whenever I tell people about this internet-blocking system, they tell me that it seems an extreme solution. They tell me that they could never do it. They could not surrender their smartphones. In other words, my friends cannot imagine living life...without having the instant ability to do whatever popped into their head 5 seconds ago. Cartoon male coworkers talking in office.Cartoon of male cartoonist working in office at Wacom Cintiq graphics tablet. Me? I keep a list of When I eventually review my list of Drawing of Needle and drip bag going directly into brain. Compulsive internet-searching, compulsive email-checking, compulsive Twitter-scrolling. Feeling the need to instantly know the answer. These habits constitute a neural addiction. Each little web-search stimulates our limbic system's High angle cartoon man standing near large workbench with calendar spread across it. In my childhood, being connected to the web was the rare exception to normal.Construction materials on drafting desk, viewed from high angle. Today, being connected to the web is the default state. And so, the modern imperative is conscientiously carving out internet-free periods from our lives.Cartoon bushwalkers walking through wilderness area. A camping trip without devices.De-linking email from your phone. A Young adult at writing table, working with pen. By deliberately putting a delay between thought and action, I have helped to quell my neural addiction. Funnily enough, by choice I am today back to the same system...Cartoon boy doing homework in bedroom, with 1990s style posters. ...that I was forced to use when I was 12 years old.

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