My most significant memories concern the installation of the landline phone at home and the start of television programs (first half of the fifties) and, subsequently, the Internet and e-mail (eighties / nineties).
• My first call
I remember with emotion my first call, not automatically but through a receptionist. Since then they changed the patterns of relationship between people, in the past by sending notes or letters, or by going in person to home. Implicitly there was more social control, with the telephone began a process of ‘liberation’ of individuals, who could relate without mediation. This also changed the relationships in the families, in the couple and with the children, until the total revolution of the cell phone, which allows a seamless connection always, anywhere and with anyone.
• The television
For me, who lived in a small town in Sicily, it was like an eye on the world. Then the TV was not common in homes, it was in clubs or bars. I still remember the amazement of many in seeing cars and furs in a film about Moscow: we thought that in the Soviet Union there were no cars or even fur! The television, which at the time had the face of Mike Bongiorno immediately became a mass phenomenon, on Thursday evening – during “Lascia o Raddoppia” show, streets and squares were emptied, the cinemas interrupted the program because the spectators could follow on a big screen Mike’s program.
Television, as claimed by Tullio De Mauro in a 1963 book (Laterza, Linguistic History of Unified Italy) encouraged the linguistic unification of the country, not only with entertainment programs, but also with the TG (then ‘read’ as a speaker, not by journalists) and the great scripted novels and theatrical works on Friday.
• Internet and e-mail
Already in the eighties, I was especially amazed at the possibility of sending and receiving letters, photos and documents in real time. Compared to the transmission of the voice with the phone, the news was the transmission of the image, digital photography, the ability to reproduce documents in pdf, by cutting distances in every sense, excluding physical contact. What strikes me most in this field is the revolution in the dissemination of news: the printed paper today is only an option. I still remember – first sixties – the first high school magazines, which we directly edited the printing press, correcting the drafts of the articles hand-made by the printer. Today, spreading one’s ideas is infinitely simpler. Perhaps too much!
C.B. from Italy
Sharing Europe from Florence started to collect memories from local citizens interested in the project activities. We asked participants to “write a message in a bottle” for the future, by sharing a relevant story for them.
Original version [Italian]
I miei ricordi più significativi riguardano l’installazione del telefono fisso in casa e l’inizio dei programmi televisivi (prima metà degli anni cinquanta) e, successivamente, internet e la posta elettronica (anni ottanta/novanta).