The postcard is obsolete, all because of technology
We’re observing a new social phenomenon: the decline of the greeting and traveling postcard. The cause is attributed to technology. The symptoms are obvious if we draw a balance at the end of the summer or the calendar year. In recent years it has drastically reduced the number of postcards sent or delivered by hand, to the advantage of greetings exchanged by e–mail, social network or MMS. In the age of global and swift communication is fading just the means of figurative communication characterized by easy circulation.
As I’m fond of postcards up to consider them equal to equities, I’d like to invite you to reconsider the importance of that, that for some centuries has been a costume phenomenon. Whoever could write them, even the illiterate addressing to the scribes. Remember the conscription card? Surely it was the kind of card less acceptable because it was the call to arms or signaled the end of the leave. Postcards collection, along with philately (stamps) and numismatics (coins and medals), is able to provide the true insight into the historical evolution of our society. That light rectangular cardboard was born in
1870 in France thanks to the Besnardeau Louis’ merchant
instinct, owner of the library of the town of Sille–le–Guillaume. The postcards
reproduced patriotic themes arousing the soldiers’ interest, which would have
broken the monotony of barrack life by sending letters to the families and
girlfriends. The paternity of the modern illustrated postcard is disputed: in
1796, although it remained an isolated experiment, the German publisher Miesler
printed and divulged some views of Berlin. In 1869, in Austria, on the
initiative of I. Hermann, was used for the first time the postcard, composed of
“recto” reserved to the recipient’s address and to the affixing of the stamp,
and of “back” occupied by correspondence. In the illustrated postcard, the
illustration entirely occupied the back, and the recto was divided into two
parts: one for address and postage, the other to mail. A digital photo of a
landscape is also an appreciated souvenir, but we can never compete with the
aerial shots or with the suggestion of the skyline of famous cities or the
breathtaking sunsets that publishers assigned to artistic reproductions give
us. We say a nostalgic goodbye to postcard or extend worthily its existence? In
fact, the postcard rises again from the ashes like a Phoenix. Many people,
crushed by the obsolescence of the postcard, they found a refuge in
Postcrossing.com site, created by the Portuguese Paulo Magalhães in 2005 to
allow the postcards exchange from all over the globe.
Source “La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno”, an italian newspaper, January 14, 2013, p. 14.