In Armenia more than 70% of the population can’t imagine their lives without the Internet. The 30% who don’t know how to switch on a computer are adults living in villages or towns.
I met with Arus, a 75-year-old woman living in Gyumri, a city in northern Armenia. She had a very sad story: She had lost her son after an earthquake and had no information on his whereabouts. She thought that her son had died. Arus liked to talk to me, to tell her story, to know about my life. One day she asked me how I got my job. When I answered that I found my job through an announcement, she thought that I meant a printed notice. When I explained to her that I found my job online, she was very surprised.
“Oh my God, that technical machine helped you to find a job! I don’t believe you; I’m sorry. Times really have changed,” she exclaimed. After a few moments, her astonishment shifted to interest. “If you could find job through that strange instrument, can’t you try to find a person?” Her eyes were shining as if hope were renewed in her maternal, sad heart. She wanted to find her son.
The next day I brought my laptop to her home, and she told me some information about her son. I quickly typed it into Google and... What a wonder! Her son was alive, living abroad, and most importantly—found! Through my searches, I discovered his email, his number, and his Skype information. It was an incredibly touching scene to see Mother and Son talk after so many years apart. In that moment, I realized the importance of the Internet.
Arus did, too. She thanked all the creators of that “Strange Machine” that helped her find her son. Now she visits Google almost every day and has decided to break the stereotype that “the Internet is not for adult Armenian women.”
I encourage all the women of the world to connect to modern technology, as the world is changing rapidly. Why not use online platforms to be free, empowered, and informed!
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