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September 18, 2009

Tech Torture, Day 5: Back online at last!

Posted: 04:14 PM ET

Editor’s note: This is the latest in’s ongoing “Tech Torture With Topher” video-blog series, in which we “torture” 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.

Hello all,

Well after the trials of Tuesday and Wednesday, last night was easy: I went out and met some friends to watch the Georgia Tech game, so I didn't miss the Internet as much.

I've been asked two questions about this experiment:
1) What was the hardest part? and 2) Was I able to go without Web access for 5 days?

As for number 2: Yeah, I did it, but it was only for a week. I'm not sure I would want to change my life that way for much longer.

The answer to the first question surprised me. I like to have a set routine in the morning, and part of that is spending half an hour on the computer before I leave home - checking my e-mail (work and personal) and then responding to messages from CNN's international units.

Not doing that this week really threw me off.

So that's it for this week. I want to thank you all for reading and taking the time to comment. Please drop me a comment about what you thought of this "Tech Torture" and what you'd like to see in a future TTWT.

Also, hop on over to Twitter (Topheratl) and let us know what you think.

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

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Josh   September 18th, 2009 4:35 pm ET

You should go a week without using a mouse, so you can only use keyboard shortcuts. It might seem easy, but there are a number of functions that are just easier to use a mouse for, so you would lose that "convenience factor".

Chasidy   September 19th, 2009 9:48 am ET

I am a Counsellor who has a primary focus in Addictions work.

I think it is interesting that you say that it's not like you are a "crack addict" but your comments are disturbingly similar to those that I regularly counsel with Addictions. It would be interesting to look at your functioning in all your areas of life outside of work: self care (how much exercise do you do and what is your diet like for instance), social (how often are you seeing your friends and family and how tuned into them are you), intimacy (how close are you with your wife?), and community or spirituality (Do you volunteer or are you looking at yourself as part of the bigger picture ie. faith). These are not judgements that anyone can make, they are for you to answer. Look at the areas....are there any that you would like to improve? If there are and you improve them, then your behaviours online and plugged in are not impeding your life to greatly. If some areas are needing work, that is where you can look at exchanging on line with real time.

ajones   September 19th, 2009 8:30 pm ET

you can live fine without the internet and if you are spending all day tweeting or blogging on facebook like a giggling teen on a party line, i weep for the future of this nation,

Ogre   September 20th, 2009 1:18 pm ET

This was not really a valid test unless you went Friday night and all weekend without access. I think during the week might have been bad but having to go the weekend would have been much more torture for you.

Casey   September 21st, 2009 9:33 pm ET

CNN has horrible science and technology reporting, and it just keeps getting worse. Apparently, there are only 3 types of technology news worthy of their reporting: Global warming, cell phones, and NASA Launches. It's like there is nothing else happining in the area of science/tech. Maybe you guys aren't talking to the right people. Maybe you are just clueless. Maybe you have your own agenda. It is rather curious.

Perhaps CNN should consider actually doing some research, and report on the abundant advances in science and engineering. (Oh .. and I don't mean H1N1 stories either.) Get it together people!

Lisa   September 22nd, 2009 12:59 am ET

I agree with Josh. As a tech I do some things without a keyboard, but for surfing, etc it gets a bit...painful. Might be an interesting test.

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