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Unrestricted Internet Access at a Young Age refers to a series of memes including image macros and TikTok videos that joke about the potentially negative psychological and physical side effects of having unrestricted access to the internet as a child. The earliest known meme about this was posted on Tumblr in late 2019 and became a more frequent subject of memes in the following years.
On December 11th, 2019, a now-deleted Redditor posted a Read, Nigga, Read meme to /r/memes that references the potential damage that access to all parts of the internet as a child can do to someone, gaining around 80 upvotes before being deleted (shown below). This is the earliest known meme on the subject (shown below). The post was archived by awwmemes that day.
On December 13th, 2019, Tumblr user luxborn posted a Doge meme showing Doge browsing the web as a child, captioned, "OH BOY I SURE DO LOVE HAVING INTERNET ACCESS AS A CHILD IN THE EARLY 2010S I HOPE I DON'T GET IRREVERSIBLE PSYCHOLOGICAL DAMAGE IN MY DEVELOPMENTAL YEARS," garnering over 57,000 notes before being deleted (shown below).
On December 16th, 2020, Twitter user @catalystnb posted an I May Not Show It meme on the topic, gaining roughly 130 likes in two years. On April 29th, 2021, Instagram user tengulolita posted an image macro on the topic using an image from the anime Serial Experiments Lain, gaining over 5,000 likes in a year (shown below, left). On May 29th, Instagram user mrgamer42069 posted a Worse Mistake of My Life meme on the topic, gaining over 30,000 likes in a year (shown below, right).
The idea is sometimes used in tandem with the Ryback Eating Chips meme. For example, on January 26th, 2022, Instagram user pretentiouskinomemes posted a meme like this, gaining over 34,000 views and 6,100 likes in six months (shown below, left). On March 18th, Instagram user douggiehouse posted a similar meme, gaining over 314,000 views and 23,000 likes in four months (shown below, right).
The joke also spread to TikTok in 2022. Some of the most popular relevant videos are set to an original sound that transitions from bright cheery music to somber music. TikTokers present a way that having unrestricted internet access while growing up traumatized them after the music changes. For example, on June 1st, TikToker @sleepysaints posted a video about this that gained over 5.1 million views in a month (shown below, left). On June 20th, TikToker @williesqued posted a video about being exposed to Best Gore at a young age, gaining over 200,000 views in a month (shown below, right).
On the same date, Twitter user @_4YSL posted, as part of the She's a 10 But trend, "she’s a 10 but she had unrestricted access to the internet at a young age," gaining over 216,000 likes and 21,000 retweets in a month. On July 28th, Twitter user @kzzrttt posted a joke likening the Chris-Chan trial to the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard trial for "people who had unrestricted internet access at a young age," gaining over 35,000 likes in a day (shown below).
There are no videos currently available.