The Wonders of Technology

Tamarack Verrall
Posted April 24, 2019 from Canada

I grew up and went all the way through school without a computer. No TV before I was six years old. No cell phone. No Wifi. Typewriters had inky ribbons, but then the electric typewriter came in. How smooth and easy, even typing with two fingers. In my early days of activism  in the Women’s Liberation Movement here, we felt brilliant to figure out the “telephone tree”. One woman calls a few friends, they call a few, who call a few more, and we could gather for a meeting or demonstration, within a few hours. Long distance telephone was too expensive, so we wrote letters and learned how to publish newspapers to stay in contact with like minded sisters across the country. Whenever we travelled, we tried to meet and deepen our connections. Little was reported on the conventional news, so we found our own ways to be in touch and make things happen. 

In the late 1960’s I heard about a giant computer, one of a few built, and that it took up the space of a whole room. I later learned that scientists had been developing these computers since 1949. The year I was born.

By the late 1970’s computers had made it into women’s centres, but having gotten along without them, it took me awhile to explore the cyber world. A friend finally sat me down and began to show me what was possible. A new world began to open for me. What an amazing  leap from a typewriter! And what an expanded world to be able to search for news online. Way beyond what was covered on radio and TV. 

It was right around the same time that this same friend told me about World Pulse. I was immediately amazed. Finally, here were women’s voices from all over the world. Our news, our stories, and all set up for us to be aware that as change makers, we are truly everywhere. All set up for us to discover where we all are, what we have been through, what we are doing about it, and what needs to happen. All set up so we could be in touch, publicly and privately. Not only that, set up so that we can all share ideas, have discussions about what to do, know where the priorities lie, share our news far and wide on the internet, challenge the conventional media to listen to women’s voices, create Global Marches, create #OneBillionRising, #MeToo, #HerToo, #TimesUp movements, and even make plans to meet in person.

And I continue to learn so much from you all. What happens when young women get computer savvy, what happens when stories come alive through videos, what happens when equipment is put in the hands of girls, what safety has been created through Emergency Apps, how strong and interwoven our community is now. A full documentation of every aspect of what needs to change, and what is possible. Through training offered by the World Pulse Team I got through some shyness in writing. I watch your adeptness with cameras and am teaching myself what is possible with my cell phone video, so that I can better document change makers here.

Through technology we have proof now of our numbers, and of our collective passion and determination to create change. We are creating that Shift, a vibration beyond technology, strong enough to create these changes that we know are critical, these changes that we collectively hold as priorities. I am ecstatic that we have this now, together.

I make no apologies for the time I spend online. I celebrate every time I open my computer and find you all there. I love all the photos of happy children surrounding powerful World Pulse Sisters. Of women standing together looking so strong. Of men who understand that this benefits us all. I leap forward in my thinking every time there is a new Skype, a new Zoom, a new discussion online. I celebrate every hello, every bit of news from sisters now interwoven in my heart, thanks to technology, and thanks to World Pulse.

This story was submitted in response to Girls in ICT Day.

Comments 17

Log in or register to post comments
Dawn Arteaga
Apr 24
Apr 24

Wow Tam, thank you for sharing this moving story of your lifelong experience with ever changing technology and opportunities to share power in lifting one another up. I am so grateful World Pulse has you as an Ambassador!

Tamarack Verrall
Apr 25
Apr 25

Thank you so much, Dawn. World Pulse means everything to me. I live to see the day that all women and girls are free.

Jill Langhus
Apr 25
Apr 25

Hello lovely Tam,

How are you doing? Thanks for sharing your insightful story. Yeah, I think back to the days without email, the internet, computers, and I think whoa, what did I do with all my spare time. How did I cope. Ha. I remember my brother's first Mac in the mid 80's. That was cool, but then email and internet, that was something else when that came along.

We have to thank your friend that introduced you to World Pulse, though. Where would WP be without Tam!

Oh, I know you didn't write that you had to overcome shyness about writing. That's amazing, dear. I didn't see that coming. I really thought you'd been writing since you were a babe... for real.

I love your enthusiasm, your drive, your experience, and your mission, dear. You are such a one of a kind, and totally irreplaceable. We all could, and do, learn so much from you. I hope you realize how valued and important you are, not only for all the advocacy work you do, but also to World Pulse...

XX

Tamarack Verrall
Apr 25
Apr 25

Dear Jill,
What a boost to my day, thank you for your so supportive message. It is true that I have been writing and speaking since I was a babe (I am told I was yelling as I was born!), but the World Pulse Digital Changemaker Training helped push me to new levels, as does the inspiration I get continuously from reading what such tremendous work is being done by leaders here. Thanks for your ongoing encouragement dear sister.

Jill Langhus
Apr 25
Apr 25

Hello dear:-)

Oh, I'm glad to hear it, and you're welcome!

Very cool, and good to know. It is inspiring, for sure to read all the stories and posts on WP.

Hope you have a great, rest of the week and weekend, dear.

fidelity
Apr 25
Apr 25

Hello Tam,
for sure i can say when reading your story it was like a move unfolding in session. coming from a developing country i could not imagine there people who saw computers in 1970s. In Kenya at that time it was a far fetched dream. it was not a necessity at the time. health, education and infrastructure were the things that bothered governments at the time. but today we do not understand how to operate without a mobile phone. actually one feels lost. i am so encouraged by your story and your resilience. just saying how you organized meetings and probably it took a month to bring all the girls together but today it is just a one click and you have all world pulse ambassadors together.
Lets go go go we must get the change we want for our girls and women.

Tamarack Verrall
May 07
May 07

Thank you so much Fidelity for your encouraging words. Yes, it is such a different time now! I am so amazed that we can now all be in touch, keep each other up on the real news, and work together.

ARREY- ECHI
Apr 25
Apr 25

Hello Mama Tam,
Thank you for sharing this powerful story of your life without computers. It reads like a short documetary.
I love how you all brave women pressed on inspite of and still, determined to up it into the ICT world. I enjoy your stories here and like you, I echo your words here because I certainly have no regrets with the time I spend online... "I make no apologies for the time I spend online. I celebrate every time I open my computer and find you all there. I love all the photos of happy children surrounding powerful World Pulse Sisters. Of women standing together looking so strong. Of men who understand that this benefits us all. I leap forward in my thinking every time there is a new Skype, a new Zoom, a new discussion online. I celebrate every hello, every bit of news from sisters now interwoven in my heart, thanks to technology, and thanks to World Pulse."

Hugs and love to you

Tamarack Verrall
May 07
May 07

Hi Arrey,
How good to get your message. I love how we all celebrate this chance to be together. Arms linked now forever.
Love to you dear sister,
Tam

Lisbeth
Apr 27
Apr 27

Dear Aunty Tam,
Its an inspirational story, I try to see how creative you are. Even not born into an ICT world you become ICT professor :-).

I remember the other day I needed to convert my video on YouTube it was not easy for me.

I grew up in the erra of ICT hence an illiterate to ICT compared to you who grew up without even a TV nor computer. I remember too you opted to help me with the YouTube problem. Thanks for having you always making efforts to help all your children to put a smile on their faces anyway possible.

Warm greeting from Ghana
Hugs

Tamarack Verrall
May 07
May 07

My dear young sister,
Thank you for sending your message, I always feel encouraged by you. I am so glad we are in touch now through World Pulse!
Big hug,
Tam

Lisbeth
May 07
May 07

Its splendid having you as a friend, sister and mother.
Warm hugs return :-)

womencssociety
Apr 30
Apr 30

Hi Tam,

Thanks for sharing another story with us. I love reading your words and hearing about your introduction to ICT. You've really seen technology shift through the decades. You were such a resourceful woman, coming up with creative solutions to keep in touch within the community. It's amazing how ICT is empowering women to be more vocal and empowered around the globe.

It makes me happy knowing how you've used technology to empower and educate women online and off through World Pulse. In fact, that was how we met. I write about you and our meeting in my last ICT story.

You inspire me, thank you!

Lisa

Tamarack Verrall
May 07
May 07

Hi Lisa,
Thanks for your so encouraging message. I am thrilled that you have jumped into World Pulse and look forward to conspiring together from Canada!

Hello, Tam,

These statement resonates so much with me, " I make no apologies for the time I spend online. I celebrate every time I open my computer and find you all there. I love all the photos of happy children surrounding powerful World Pulse Sisters. Of women standing together looking so strong. Of men who understand that this benefits us all. " Beautiful words. I agree! That is how I feel, too.

Thank you for always writing inspiring, uplifting posts about women and for women. It's a honor to meet you, Tam!

Tamarack Verrall
May 07
May 07

Dear Karen,
Thank you so much! it is being able to be in touch with sisters like you that give me such hope and cause for celebration. What we have now together in World Pulse is a dream come true for me! I feel your love and strength across the waves.

The pleasure is mine, dear Tam. Yes, this is a dream come true to be connected across the globe. Truly Amazing!

Related Stories