Television was and always will be a technology that truly changed the world. With it has come many forms of new media that we acquire today. However, the role of the television has changed throughout the decades, what was once seen as a family activity is now more commonly seen as an isolated hobby. From having only one small TV in the house tucked away in the corner of the living room to having two to three large flat-screens positioned all over the house, it is easy to see how far the technology has come.
I questioned a family friend, an older lady born in the 1960’s, in order to obtain an alternative view on what it was like growing up with a television, a technology that had only recently been invented.
“It was definitely a privilege to have one, as not everyone could afford it. When I was little, we had a black and white TV as we could not yet afford one in colour. It was only allowed on in the evenings during dinner time and the whole family would sit down and watch it together. During the day if Mum was out of the house running errands my sisters and I would turn it on without permission, but we were always caught. What we didn’t know was when she came home she use to feel the back of the TV box to see if it was warm and had been used, thats when we would get into a heap of trouble. Some parents were more strict than others, for example we were allowed to watch cartoons and occasionally stay up and watch the scary shows and films, other friends were only allowed to watch the ABC learning channel and nothing else.”
Personally, the treatment of the television when I was growing up was somehow similar, but soon changed as my siblings and I grew older and the TV’s got cheaper. Initially it was kept as a family activity where we would all watch it together and give us a chance to ‘bond’. We were never allowed ones in our rooms like other people we knew as it was strictly kept as this shared tradition. Now we have four huge televisions throughout the house. Now there is no need to fight over the remote as now there is literally a TV per person. It demonstrates the changed culture that revolves around the television and how it is no longer seen as a privilege but rather the norm.