technology run amok

Our Story: Technology Run Amok

Remember us? We don’t want you to think we’ve dropped off the
face of the earth or abandoned you. However we’ve been caught
in that quagmire known as the great technological abyss. What
began as a temporary inability to receive e-mails through the
website,, has turned into virtual solitary
confinement. After enjoying our give-and-take relationship
with you for the past several years we were cut off from each
other for almost two months.

Apparently AOL, in an attempt to cut down on spam, began to
refuse to deliver messages from websites that had multiple
addresses on their mailing lists. Somehow they, or our
webmaster, or our hosting company, or our internet service
provider managed, in their ultimate wisdom, to shut down all
incoming and outgoing messages. Consequently, until now
we were unable to receive new subscriptions to our
newsletter, input to our “About You” questionnaire or e-mails.
We were blocked from sending out newsletters or any other
correspondence to you.

It took all this time to get back to you. We wish there were
some way to contact all the women who tried to be in touch and
who tried to subscribe to our newsletter during this period.
If you know anyone please offer our apologies and invite them
back into the fold.

In our attempts to get control of our website we were first
intimate friends and then nearly deadly enemies with a multitude
of providers: our web master, internet service provider, hosting
company. Who can you turn to when you feel like everything is
going wrong, you don’t really understand what that “everything”
is and you can’t even speak the language? We reached out to
everyone and spent hours trying to come to grips with the
situation and find the possible solutions.

We want to convey to you not only our feelings of impotence
in the face of this frustration but also some of the steps we
took to move forward.

First we ranted and raved. We beat our chests! We blamed the
incompetence of service providers today. We eventually
recognized that finding an immediate solution was impossible.
We accepted the fact that this was something we couldn’t easily
control – in fact it was beyond our control. We talked and
talked to the experts, to technicians, to each other and
didn’t give up. We tried to understand the language and the

We used the gift of humor and tried to laugh at the
interactions that were funny.

Inevitably we had to face the fact that we have become the
older generation to the young folks who now manage the
Internet and all that goes with it. But we cannot be bloodied
or bowed. We have to stick with it: continue to focus,
concentrate, learn new concepts, relearn ones we’ve forgotten.
We should write down the instructions – and then remember where
we put them. We must accept our ambivalence about technology,
our fears about being able to stay ahead of the learning curve,
befriend and work with the confusion and frustration.

After our struggle, we are back. And glad of it!


Stepping Stones: Dealing with Frustration

Our frustrations over the “hijacking” of our website and our
inability to interact with you are probably similar to the ones
all of us experience in other situations. Let’s look at some
of the steps we took to deal with our dilemma.

*** We were aware of our emotions of frustration, anger,
anxiety and hopelessness. We felt helpless and bristled
at our loss of control.

*** We recognized that our feelings were due to our
disappointment at not being able to solve our predicament

*** We tried to deal with our negative emotions and thoughts
without lashing out at each other and our loved ones.

*** We turned to each other for support and validation of our

*** Knowing that we were at a loss to control our situation
directly, we contacted “experts.” When the first of these
were not helpful, we kept searching for ones who were.

*** We tried to learn new concepts and behaviors that would
help us.

*** We used ways of coping that worked well for us in the
past – humor, sharing, rededication, occasional distancing.

*** We created not only Plan A but also Plans B and C and D
until we were satisfied with the solution.

*** We looked for something positive that we could make out
of our negative experience – this newsletter came out of
our search.

We hope that we can be helpful as you also continue to deal
with the frustrations that technology – and life itself –
throws our way.


Our Invitation to You

So what have you been up to all summer? We missed you and
want to catch up. Write us your transition stories and we will
continue to publish them in our newsletters. Respond to our
“About You” questionnaire on the website and we will include
the data in our research. Tell us about your technology
frustrations and solutions and we will share that with other
women. We can all benefit from each other’s experiences.

If you are interested, let us hear from you. Please e-mail

(c) Her Mentor Center, 2003