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September 16, 2009

Tech Torture With Topher, Day 3: Bored silly

Posted: 04:55 PM ET

Editor’s note: This is the latest in CNN.com’s ongoing “Tech Torture With Topher” video-blog series, in which we “torture” CNN.com staffer Topher Kohan by depriving him of a technological convenience for a week to see how he copes with it. This week, Topher must avoid all Web-based technology when he’s outside of the office.

Hey all and welcome back!

So Day Two is done and I am well into Day Three by the time you read this.

My big takeaway from this experiment so far: I love being connected, and even if I did not realize it before, I like to live my life online.

I was bored out of my mind last night and had no idea what to do with myself without my computer. Lucky for me, my wife and I went out with some friends for dinner - that got me out of the house, and I had actual human interaction.

But I'm finding the times right before bed and after I get up in the morning are the hardest. I want to check in and see what’s up, read Facebook, check my work and personal e-mail. I am not doing that, so I feel a little lost.

I'm also doing the Weight Watchers thing, and so I use the online version of the tools. Because I cannot get on the Web after I leave work, I have to change the way I track things. I know this does not sound like a big deal, but it really throws me off.

So clearly I am having issues with this. Question of the day: Can cutting down on my time online make me a better person?

Let me know in the comments below, and as always jump over to Twitter (Topheratl) and join the conversation there.

Editor’s note: Topher Kohan is the search engine optimization (SEO) coordinator for CNN.com, a “Star Wars” aficionado, a tech dork and an all-around good guy. (No, really, he is — just ask him.)

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YoMama   September 16th, 2009 5:14 pm ET

Yeah, blame the web for your inability to diet.


Nick   September 16th, 2009 5:18 pm ET

I can completely relate. I am a tech blogger and I findmyself online all the time. A few weeks back by laptop died on me but I had my trusty G1 to get me through things for a little, but then I forgot it at work one day. When I got home I actually confidered driving the 35 mile trip back into work to get my phone so I could be online and check my twitter account.


Suan   September 16th, 2009 5:35 pm ET

I had to do this for one of my classes and not log into Facebook for a week. Harder than expected...and I felt like a loser for cheating and logging in.


Zach   September 16th, 2009 6:00 pm ET

try Exercising if your that bored. its good for you. and you will live longer. k thanks


Vitor Vieira   September 16th, 2009 6:00 pm ET

Hi from Portugal.
Well, I guess you would love to do something that combines hi-tech and low-tech perfectly: geocaching. It makes you get out of the house, walk, interact, and leave the PC behind. On the other hand, you still need it – but only for a little bit of time. Try it, you won't be disappointed. I know I didn't.


Michael   September 16th, 2009 6:06 pm ET

As an IT professional myself, I wish I could relate, but sadly I cannot. You see, we have these amazing devices called "books" that provide stimulation for your eyes and mind much like your favorite websites do, but that don't require electricity. If you're older than 30 and don't already have a stack of books that would take you a month of solid reading to get through, well then, something is wrong.


roi   September 16th, 2009 6:10 pm ET

aah you see, us human beings all have whats called 'intracranial reinforcers', if these areas get stimulated we pretty much get hooked. The trick to not getting hooked is to really know yourself. Look at these things (facebook, twitter) before you take them up. All the best!!


Bob   September 16th, 2009 8:43 pm ET

Read a book. Your column is useless. All you do is whine about what you would do without your technology. Maybe if you had an imagination or some intelligence, you could figure out something else to do.


Iman   September 16th, 2009 9:33 pm ET

I highly doubt it! I know, personally, I am very grouchy when I haven't taken a few minutes out of my day to check my facebook via internet or phone. Whichever is easier at the time. I have tried to go a few days without it and I swear I had withdrawal symptoms. It's all apart of facebook/twitter's plan to enslave the American population [insert evil laugh here]. Best of luck.

Iman Mohamud,
Minneapolis, MN


Stacey   September 16th, 2009 10:36 pm ET

I feel for you! I can't believe people are being mean about this! He didn't say he couldn't diet, he said that the online tools make tracking it easier! I would be a little stressed without the net too. It's a way to unwind at the end of the day. I spend a little time on my facebook apps taking out mafia and pirates. It keeps me from being a jerk back to the jerks at work during the day :D
Keep up the good work, and I'm sorry cnn has decided to torture you with this one!


George Stevens   September 17th, 2009 1:21 am ET

Turn on, tune in, and drop out. No wait: turn-off, tune-out, and drop-in man. If only Timothy Leary knew that he was describing internet addiction. There is more to life than the internet (I read that online somewhere). More vegetables+more exercise > weightwatchers.


MadMaximillions   September 17th, 2009 1:37 am ET

All the man said is it is making it more difficult to track his eating habits because he's used to a different medium. If you typically use a provided-for chart for something, and suddenly lose it, you're going to have to take extra steps to deal with it, of course. Blame your lack of forethought for being an unreasonable bastard to a man trying to better himself. Wish him good will instead of trying to be self-righteous.


melanie   September 17th, 2009 3:13 am ET

Ha ha – can totally relate! I live alone, so I am either online or reading a book. I love my online life but now that summer is here in South Africa – it might be easier to leave it behind and get some exercise ;0) Good luck Topher!


Matt   September 17th, 2009 8:05 am ET

Hello, i'm 16 years old, technology is a part of my everyday life. Cellphones, laptop, desktop, ipods,i dont think i could even attempt what you are doing, i wish you the best of luck though, i personally would go crazy. I do maintain a somewhat ordinary social life (or try to)


Doc   September 17th, 2009 8:46 am ET

honestly i have to agree with most of the others who posted comments here. i love my computer and the internet but every so often i will find myself going without. you need to organize your life with tangible things such as a calendar and a notepad rather than something that is unreliable and may one day become obsolete forcing you to find a new way to get your daily "fix" of colorful gnomes casting spells that would cause an epileptic to spit foam.


Kyle   September 17th, 2009 9:53 am ET

The true question is: What are all you people that are addicted to the internet, twitter, and facebook going to do when (if) something happens and it is no longer available? We could easily see solar flares that would wipe out all of our communications satellites, or some moron could start a world war that would devistate all peoples way of life. You never know what can happen. We as a society are relying to much on this technology. We are losing our ability to socially interact with eachother on a person to person basis. We are losing the ability to think and use our minds to be productive. When (if) something drastic happens, and we're thrown back into the stone age, how are we going to remember how to use our brains and skills?


Hunter   September 17th, 2009 10:09 am ET

Wow people are pretty critical and not very plesent on here. Lets be honest a lot of people need technology in their daily lives and it is very tough to give something up like that. Sort of like giving up smoking, its a social crutch. To be honest I think giving up txting, facebook, and other social networking ways could benefit society better being it would "force" a better human interaction. Face to face transactions, perhaps it would reduce the stress in our everyday lives, by adding companionship.


Dennis   September 17th, 2009 10:42 am ET

I think you should log out more often and take your wife to dinner and enjoy!!


Aaron   September 17th, 2009 11:30 am ET

Y'know, if y'all spent some of this surplus money on editors, you'd get a lot more respect.


Virginia   September 17th, 2009 11:34 am ET

Best TTwT yet! This is a *serious* challenge. But it sounds like you're learning from the experience, from removing a part of your life that you took for granted. Challenging yourself to reevaluate your priorities is very admirable. I may just try this myself, actually. Thanks for the inspiration, Topher! :)


Katy   September 17th, 2009 12:03 pm ET

I wasn't able to login to my facebook for two weeks (something got messed up with my login information and it took Facebook TWO weeks to fix it!!!) ..... The first two days I was in a state of panic! I was emailing EVERYthing I could think of to try and restore access. Nothing worked. I finally got a hold of SOMEONE. Actually after the first couple of days I wasn't quite in a panic anymore, and felt REALLY relaxed. I wasn't tapped into EVERYONES drama on a daily basis. I got back to basics and started doing things I hadn't been doing because I'd sit on Facebook all day. It was a REALLY nice break and I think it happened for a reason! (I think EVERYONE should unplug for two weeks!)


Katy   September 17th, 2009 12:09 pm ET

Think of this for one moment.......

Twenty years ago (or even just 15 years ago) HOW ODD would this statement seem if you heard someone say it??

"I have an 8 gig ipod nano"

Just had to throw that out there....... funny how things change in such a short time (And what did we all do before there were ipods, texting and facebook?????)


Random   September 17th, 2009 4:01 pm ET

Will giving up the internet make you a better person?
No, and I can relate to not knowing what to do with my time. However, if you do need something to do, read something. Even a graphic-novel. Or a comic strip. It passes time quite well, in fact.
I know I shouldn't asume you don't read, but so many others did, so I figured I'd chip in my advice.
Oh, and screw exercise. At least the conventional kind. I totally prefer trying to learn how to do something new, like a hand-spring or a cartwheel. If you don't think you can, try it. You may suprise yourself.
Luck to the 'net,
Random


Oakey   September 17th, 2009 6:01 pm ET

I think it's good for people to disconnect now and then. I like being plugged in but I know that I could do less of it. I have to use social media at work so I can't get away from it there. I stopped checking Facebook, Twitter, e-mail etc. at home when I realized that my girlfriend and I would sit across the table on our computers all night rather than talk. Now we go for long walks with the dog after dinner and sometimes watch a little TV before bed. I actually look forward to not being online when I'm at home now. $0.02


Jon   September 17th, 2009 7:25 pm ET

I love how people are trashing you for having no life, and yet they're on here commenting on a web blog. Look this is basically an experiment in social science. The fact is, a lot of people have become "addicted" to their PCs/laptops etc. It's interesting to see that one can basically show symptoms of withdrawal when their drug of choice is removed from access. Best of luck man, and good luck on the weight watchers. You can do it :)


Marie   September 19th, 2009 7:30 pm ET

Using your phone to video yourself after hours is a breach of your rules.


Robin Smith   October 2nd, 2009 8:49 am ET

Ha ha – can totally relate! I live alone, so I am either online or reading a book. I love my online life but now that summer is here in South Africa – it might be easier to leave it behind and get some exercise ;0) Good luck Topher!

http://legallaw.sosblog.com/llblog-b1/UKs-Silly-Laws-b1-p17.htm


Tsuyoshi   May 21st, 2012 9:16 pm ET

onestamente,i resident evil vehcci li ho provati tutti sul gamecube, e posso dire ke l unica cosa che odiavo di questi giochi erano quei ***** di enigmi, per me soppravivere agli zombi vuol dire essere in citta o in una villa infestata da zombi e sparare per soppravivere ,non trovare una chiave con uno stemma e capire quale porta apre, comunque sono daccordo sul fatto che invece di fare uno sparatutto sui binari potevano essere dei remake dal n 0 al CODE VERONICA ,se poi riescono a darci un RESIDENT EVIL 5 per wii meglio ancora anke a costo di cambiare qualcosa sia a livello grafica e giocabilita


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