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You get what you wait for

At first I felt like a restless child, flicking through magazines and TV channels, never finding enough to alleviate my Internet fix. Oh my, I thought, I'm addicted to the Web

Phones

You know that feeling you get when you leave your phone at home? That sense of loss and then panic as you start to realise that no one can contact you and you can't call anyone. Of course, after a few sweaty moments you think, well, it's not the end of the world, I mean, my parents lived without mobile phones and they survived somehow.

Bizarrely I felt that prickly sense of disconnectedness the other day, but my mobile was securely on my person. It was because I couldn't access the Internet. At first I felt like a restless child, flicking through magazines and TV channels, never quite finding enough to alleviate my fix. Oh my, I quietly thought to myself, I'm addicted to the Web.

But what makes the Net so appealing? What makes it so much more addictive than all the other media? Forlornly longing for one of my favourite sites, the BBC's iPlayer, I realised it's the choice -- it's being able to instantly access content I want without having to fiddle around. I just click, and go.

The big problem about instant access to content -- and our thirst for it -- is that it might mean time spent producing quality articles and programming is cut to meet increasing demand, which in the end will only mean one thing: poor quality journalism. So while I enjoy getting everything instantly, maybe I should learn some patience and wait for better content, rather than pining for instant access to everything.

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