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In 1955 when I was eight years old, my family bought its first black and white television. Until then, like most families we had a large radio that we all stared at when we listened to a program every day. In addition, music was a more important part of our lives than after we got our televsion which only had three channels. A record player finally found its way into our home when I was about ten years old. Of course, every song heard on American Bandstand had to play on my record player. In the late fifties, all of my family still read books and newspapers. We had a night every week when I had to play a few tunes on the piano for the family to make sure I was practicing enough. The color television did not make it way into the living room until 1963. Wow! we could not get enough of it.
In 1960, we got a transistor radio that was a especially frustrating because the transistors did not last very long. We had one telephone which was on a party line shared by five families. Could be frustrating when you were trying to talk to your boyfriend and an old woman's voice would tell you to get off the phone because she needed to call her friend.
No cell phones, no computers, no stereos, no ipads, no ipods, no television, no battery operated anything...this was the communication of the fifties. I know because I was there...well, at least 65 years worth.
For a long time, radio was the largest communication medium in the developed world. At least it was the most popular. Newspapers were more central to information dissemination 70 years ago than they are today, though they still play an important role in providing the population with important news, both domestic and international.
As the above posters have stated, communication seventy years ago was very different from communication today. Today, it is very easy to communicate. Seventy years ago, communication was very limited (no cellphones, video messaging, or text messages). People had to simply rely upon actual conversations, snail mail (as we call it today), telegraphs, and corded telephones.
Perhaps the largest difference between actual communication today and seventy years ago is the massive use of acronyms. Today, not much is formally stated. Instead, everything is abbreviated.
Personal communication was pretty much restricted to telephone calls, letter-writing, and face-to-face conversation 70 years ago. Modern social networking via the Internet has added many more varieties--some not quite as personal--that make communication, especially from a long distance, both quicker and less expensive.
Communication is instantaneous and easy. We don't have to leave our homes or go any particular place to communicate. Cell phones and the internet make everything available to us at any time and in any place. We are not tied to talking on the phone at home. We are not tied to going to a library or other physical place for information. It is all instant, easy and widely accessible.
Communication today has a broader and more pervasive reach, while I do agree that the multiplicity of options has made it fragmented in terms of its effect on pop culture. We can access communications from anywhere in the world, and we can take our communications devices with us. This was unthinkable, except for military communications devices like two-way radios, seventy years ago.
Communication in those days was much more broadly aimed. A newspaper or a radio station would convey the same message to all of its readers/listeners. Today, communication seems to be much more fragmented. We read different websites depending on what we are interested in. We watch all sorts of different TV channels. Our communications do not bring us together as much as they once did.
If you're referring to mass media communication, it was the heydey of newspapers and radio. Movies were also very popular. Television had been invented but had not yet become widely available.
And, of course, there was no internet, no social media, and no cell phones.
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