Technology is a Wonderful Thing...Until it Isn't!

Technology is an amazing tool with which we can enrich our lives by communicating with and learning from people all around the world.  It allows us to have a long distance friendship, keep in touch with our college kids away from home, meet amazing people, build a business faster and more efficiently, and to research and learn things in seconds that would have taken hours or even years the old fashioned way: the card catalog!  However, when technology burps, we can find ourselves in 57 varieties of hot water! My cable company decided to upgrade their outdated equipment in order to “improve” their service to me and ended up taking down the entire phone, internet and cable for all of their customers within a 10 mile radius…AGAIN!  This made it rather difficult to make my podcast that morning. My computer, Methuselah of Ancient Rome, has a terminal case of OLD: Often Loses touch with Data!   Ever try typing a Word Doc when your fingers type 80 words a minute but your computer screen only displays at the rate of 6 letters per minute? That new eBook o’ mine’ll be ready in 2034!  It also makes for interesting email, Facebook and Twitter posts because it’s difficult to gauge how many letters are being deleted when you backspace after an error.  Additionally, you are hard pressed to know exactly what you clicked on because the screen will scroll up and down indiscriminately. The magnetic strip on my debit card once rendered itself useless.  They say it’s because my wallet has a magnetic closure.  So after finding the perfect gift for my daughter for Christmas, the last one left on the shelf… A few weeks ago, I had a problem that I don’t even know enough about in order to place blame.  The upshot was that I could receive emails but I couldn’t send.  It lasted for a few days giving an internet friend of mine cause to wonder if I was mad at her because I wasn’t responding when she knew I was home working on my computer! Over the last few months I have had someone try to subscribe to our newsletter using a Yahoo group’s email address (the email you use to send a message to an entire Yahoo group).  Since I don’t belong to that Yahoo group, the message comes back undeliverable and I have no way of letting her know why she hasn’t received the newsletter. Methuselah once decided he didn’t want to keep all my internet passwords anymore.  So when I went into Yahoo Groups and Aweber and my online banking, etc. I was unable to prove I was really me even though, at that moment, I didn’t think anyone would really want the job!! Technology is a wonderful thing…until it isn’t.  So what’s a techno communicator to do?  Well, since I am now well versed in the art of communicating when technology burps, I’ll share some tips with you. 1. If you know your computer is having some issues, when you are able, put out a message to your Yahoo group or friend or Facebook page letting folks know.  When they don’t hear from you, they’ll have an inkling that your Methuselah is down with a serious case of e-Altzheimer’s. 2. If you know a friend is waiting for an email from you that you can’t get through, take a few minutes to call and let her know that she’ll be waiting a wee bit longer. 3. If you are having an email issue but do not have a phone number for the person, you can look it up on the web (provided that is still working of course!).  I once had an issue getting an email to a small business owner.  I didn’t know her well enough to have her phone number but I knew the name of her business.  I Googled and found her website, looked up her contact page where I found her phone number. 4. Slow the rate of your typing down to more closely match the speed at which your computer is displaying it.  Not only is it easier to follow, but it keeps you from making mistakes that have to be backspaced and corrected.  It also keeps you from clicking on things you don’t mean to click on because you are ahead of yourself. 5. Keep a hard copy record of all your online passwords.  I used to have a copy of it in my computer, but it was in a part of the computer that was having “issues” that day! 6. Buy quality if you can!  As a person who was always having to save a buck, I can’t tell you how many times I ended up causing myself more time, trouble and money by not spending more up front for something that would last.  This may require a little persuasive communication either with yourself or your spouse. If you follow these simple Techno Trouble Avoidance Rules, you will have more effective and stress free communication when technology burps because technology is a wonderful thing…until it isn’t! ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ JoJo Tabares holds a degree in Speech Communication, but it is her humorous approach to communication skills which has made her a highly sought-after Christian speaker and writer.  Her articles appear in homeschool publications, such as Homeschool Enrichment Magazine and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, which also endorses her Say What You Mean curricula.  You can also find JoJo on web sites such as and  For more information on communication FUNdamentals and Christian-based communication skills for the whole family, please visit


  • jojosblog

    In today’s techno society we rely upon technology for so much that when it has a snafoo, it is a huge problem.

    For example, my first car didn’t have power anything! Though things were more difficult to use back then, they did work and even when the car was off. You could roll the windows up and down, turn the steering wheel, stop the car even if the car was off. In stark contrast, my next car had power windows, power steering, power brakes, etc. So one day my engine died in the middle of a sharp turn around a street corner. I couldn’t steer the car at all and the brakes were useless as I drifted into the opposite lane of traffic slowing to stop just as I was coming up on the neighbor’s curb while literally STANDING on the brake!

    It’s not a matter of being spoiled as much as the fact that things simply don’t work without the technology with which they were designed in order to make our lives EASIER! LOL

  • cindy holman

    Great tips – it has happened to all of us – at one time or another! My cable used to just “cut out” for no reason at all – this took my computer and my land line phone – so I couldn’t get messages for my home music business for one or two days at a time sometimes. Comcast FINALLY got the problem fixed and it’s literally been months since we’ve had an issue – but it used to be so frustrating!!!!

  • Carla

    Good one! Yes, it’s great until. . . OYE!!! Isn’t it amazing how frustrated we get when the #*$&#&$)(@#* things don’t work? I remember my first computer way back in 1985. It took like five minutes to do anything and I was fascinated. I would sit there watching this amazing marvel grind, snort and click, in eager anticipation of the wonderful thing that would {{{soon}}} appear on my screen. Now if it doesn’t appear in a half a nanosecond, I’m calling this poor old laptop things I have to repent for. :)

    We are all spoiled by technology. Oh, some of us old folks think we’re not, but. . . here’s the test. Check your mood when your e-mail goes down for a day or more (GASP, HORROR, SHOCK!!!). If there’s anyone left in your house alive or not severely maimed, hey, you’re not a spoiled technobrat!!! Sadly, I failed. . .

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