Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Facebook and the return of the native.

{This memory stone sits at a boat launch on Lake Garrison, celebrating the life of a young man}

Today, as I sat here, thinking about the past and the future, I visited my hometown of Venosa (province of Potenza, Italy!) with a click of the mouse, and a scroll of the screen. For a second, I returned to my hometown without even blinking.
It cost me nothing.
It took me less than a minute.

I discovered that its wines, Aglianico del Vulture, won an exhibition in New York City recently.
I knew that wine well, as my father was a winemaker, growing these same ancient grapes.

I also learned that the town was inhabited continuously for over 600,000 years! Remains of old Lucani civilizations can be found all over the place. I knew that Greek and Roman civilizations left their mark there. But 600,000 years of habitation in the same vicinity seems unbelievable.

What an interesting world we live in. When I was a youngster, I knew just a few people with phones in their homes. A letter to The States cost as much as a steak, and people communicated with loved ones who moved across the ocean  on special occasions only.

Today, I can read newspapers from all over the world, purchase a piece of jewelry from a vendor in an unknown shop, leave a note to a farmer or an artist in big and little cities all over the map, and return to my hometown with a click of the mouse.

When communication expanded, companies were required to bring connections to rural towns as well. Schools and hospitals were the first to join the internet.  Then, it became available to every household through cable or phone lines. Of course, it's not as fast as the same communication in big cities, but it is available none the less.


Suz said...

isn't it nice to be connected
and you can travel

L. D. Burgus said...

It really is all amazing. And those who don't do it have not a clue what they are missing.

Rob-bear said...

To anywhere and back with two clicks of a mouse.

Yes, the world is changing. And we have very little to do with it, apart from participating in the change, or shunning it.

I'm involved in the world wide web, but I'm still having second thoughts about that. Paricularly it's invasiveness. Too much of a good thing might not be all that good.

Phoenix said...

What a lovely post - very thoughtful and peaceful. The stone is beautiful, by the way. Incredibly touching.

I'm someone who loves to look at photographs of places all over the world, but also likes to touch and smell and visit those places too. Here's hoping you can get back to your homeland via a plane sometime soon. The internet will suffice, but the pleasure of real travel, I fear, will never be replaced.

Jinksy said...

And that doesn't begin to include the inexplicable levels of communication going on - like the one that hit me when I read this post - I'm currently reading Thomas Hardy's 'The Return Of The Native'?! LOL ♥

Brian Miller said...

smiles...i can be anywhere in a click...and if i dont have the sun, i can find here...smiles...that is def why i follow some photo blogs....

JeannetteLS said...

I hope that one day there will be free access for every household, even if it is only reduced speed. Poverty still is the accessibility issue.

That said, I think that the Internet has saved my soul. I'm shut in a great deal and it has brought the world to me. And I meet so many fascinating, talented, kind people along the way. I was warned about "flamers" and that it would not do to let people know who I am.

Not ONCE have I met an unkind person. I have had people help me, let me see pieces of their hearts and souls. I have had sweet and special gifts sent to me for no reason other than that I was going through a hard time, by people I knew ONLY through here.

I KNOW it is invasive. There are dangers, but the fact is, at this point, there is NO part of our lives really, that someone cannot find if he or she wants to. And the only time my identity was taken from me briefly was at a store, and someone copied down my information.

I cannot live in fear. And the benefits are too rich.

erin said...

now, if we could only keep up in terms of our reservoir of empathy and social consciousness. THEN! then we would be doing something truly grand! the potential is ours.


Vagabonde said...

I wonder what it will be like in 20 or 30 years. I heard today that our cell phone will be connected to our computer will be connected to our TV will be connected to….? If I was not connected to the Internet when I am home I would only talk to my husband – not that this is bad, but I like different points of view. I have a little map on the side of my blog and like to see who looked at my posts. Let me look – there is one from Tbilisi, the other Georgia and they are reading my posts from December, then there is one in VietNam and they are reading my post about a castle in France. Isn’t that amazing? By the way you can copy the link to get this little map on your blog.

yaya said...

I often think of my Grandmother coming here from Greece and leaving her family behind never to see her parents again. I bet she would have loved the ability to communicate with them as easily as you have mentioned. I think that it's wonderful to have the internet when it's used properly...sometimes facebook isn't used the way it was intended. But blogging has brought the world for me much closer and I've met some wonderful people like you in my "travels"!

Cloudia said...

happy we are connected

Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

>< } } ( ° >

Vera said...

Hooray for the Internet I say! I learn things, I communicate with a lovely bunch of bloggers, and I can keep up with my family news (they are in the UK, we are in France). I am global! And at 65!

potsoc said...

Internet is the great equalizer.
Paul CostoƓulos

NitWit1 said...

You and are are not far apart in age. We had party lines and learned an etiquette of using the phone. We learned when to interrupt because of emergency and when to leave the windbags alone.
I remember the first B*W TV. Before I was enthralled with radio drama, not all of which tgranslated to TV. Of course there are the biggies too like a flys in outer space and later walks on the moon.

Our reflections are going to be considered blase by the next generation, but they are a part of our being.

The Broad said...

I love being connected and finding others of like mind all over the world. It's given a tremendous richness to my life and has meant that many long distance separations from my family are less painful.

becky said...

Yes, this is all pretty amazing. Similar things have happened to publishing and I've been puzzling about how to put a post together about the leaps and bounds since the early days of's a hard one to assemble.

cheshire wife said...

It is hard to imagine life without phones and the Internet.

ellen abbott said...

it is pretty amazing how connected we are and can be. also amazing that you come from a town that has been inhabited for 600,000 years!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosaria .. it's great that 'natives' like you can find out a little more about your homeland - Italy is fascinating .. and has so much history and mystery ..

I love the learning I get by checking things out for my blog .. cheers Hilary