Wow, this is a very interesting topic. You are very right Serapth. The internet can be a big distraction. When I moved, for the first few days I didn't have internet, and guess what? I READ A BOOK! hahaha. We didn't have cable either by the way.
I wasn't missing it as much as the rest of my family was. I think we can become anti-social that way. I mean, my brother texts me an imessage in the other room. haha.
Anyhow. I have been into game design for about 2 months (believe me, the time flies really. Seems like only a few weeks) and I have learned so much. And it is just like you say, Try, fail, iterate, succeed, repeat.