Mr. Musayelyan in your opinion what is the role of technologies in developing civil society during the post election period in Armenia?
It is not a secret that technologies play a big role in developing civil society, and the events and geo-political realities of the recent years are a proof of that. There are many examples including the activity in social networks, but I do not think that the reason are technologies and technological development. Technologies are tools, they are simply means through which different social groups can communicate with each other, exchange information, mobilize over pivotal ideas and engage in activities. These tools will develop more and more, but I do not think that people, who do not actively use social networks today, do not contribute to civil society. There are people, who have certain role in building civil society due to their activities, however spending time on blogs and in social networks for them is a waste of time.
In your opinion, why do people become addicted to social networks if they want to be part of civil society?
I think it is primarily means for self-expression. In the past, when such tools were not available, people could not express themselves, could not become active in different groups; communicate with each other for obvious reasons. I think it is a great progress for our times; those social groups do play quite an active role in solving some very important problems in the political, ecological, or any other field. To sum up the role of technologies, I believe they do not have a big role, they are simply tools through which people can express themselves and become a part of social groups, which fight for certain ideas and solve certain problems. These people are also united in their culture of using such technologies.
What do you think do those technologies play a role in having more organized opposition?
Absolutely! Basically technologies provide an opportunity for a quick information exchange and quick feedback. If in past to organize an event you needed to fill out papers, put posters up, send letters and hand out leaflets, which required a lot if time, now you can notify different social groups about any event online. So they key here is information. I would like for people to understand the real value of information. One of they main problems is that our society does not value information. In other words, it does not have the significance, it should have. If we consider that the information is valued properly, then the only issue is to make sure the information reaches us at the right time, and in that sense, of course, technologies have a decisive role, and, besides, they make it much easier to receive feedback.
Let’s talk about the role of technologies in the orange revolution, as well as the changes in human mentality. How does human mentality change because of technologies?
I would like to talk more about human mind, about a revolution in our national value system, and less about orange or other colorful revolutions. Only people in those countries can assess whether they are good or bad, and it still remains questionable as to their gains and losses. We need changes in our value system, in our minds. I would like for the Internet etiquette to change, so that instead of exchanging labels and personal insults, the internet would serve the social groups, each of which can solve an important issue in our country. I do not understand or accept it when the social networks are used as a platform to solve personal issues. And finally, social groups on networks are mobilized not just for revolutions. They are also created to solve important social problems.
In your opinion, have we already found a proper use of social networks?
Social networks are a new phenomenon, they foster a new culture. I believe there is a need of research as well. I think social networks are a new product that still needs to be researched, and we cannot talk about their absolute positive or negative influence. In fact, opinions may be subjective. My opinion is my personal subjective understanding. I do not think anybody has a recipe and can say whether it is a positive or a negative phenomenon, it is simply a phenomenon. Today many of our young people actively participate in social networks. We have many talented and clever youngsters, who can assist in solving issues in our country, if their use their potential in social networks properly, so this could be very important for our country. In other words, social networks can become a platform for introducing many many ideas, while the government will research and choose the best ideas that can lead to the development of our country. I think government should be part of this; it should pay attention to the ideas coming from social institutions and civil society.
And finally, I am curious are you registered at social network sites, or not?
To tell the truth, during the past years, I was present at many “live” (not virtual) social gatherings, where I was part of various discussions with like-minded people, and as a result new ideas were born, and most importantly, many of them have been turned into reality. I had an opportunity to be useful in such “live” social gatherings due to my professional and public activities. Now, more than ever, there is a need for virtual communication, which will give me an opportunity to present the work that has been done, to assess the work that has not been done yet, as well as to share concerns, bitter truth and future projects. Therefore, there is a chance I will open my own blog in the near future.
Original version: 168 hours