When thinking about televisions, I imagine massive TV screens, endless viewer possibilities, hundreds of channel options, and the ability to watch my favourite TV shows and movies on numerous devices such as laptops and iPads. Our experience is further enhanced due to the instant access we now have to every program anywhere in the world. It’s easy to forget that television hasn’t always been this way… back when my parents and grandparents were young it was a completely different story.
When chatting to Mum about her television experiences when she was younger, I was surprised at just how small old televisions actually were (apparently, their family TV was even smaller than our current microwave)! Mum grew up with one television that she shared with her parents and siblings and they only had four channels to choose from all in black and white. Mum’s favourite shows to watch included: Skippy, The Brady Bunch, The Addams Family, Hey Hey It’s Saturday and Young Talent Time mainly during the hours 4-6 just before dinner, after playing outside all day.
After chatting with Mum I decided to ask Nan a few questions about her memories of television, and interestingly enough she provided a completely different experience. Going back even further (into more primitive years), when Nan was a child television hadn’t even been invented yet! It wasn’t until Nan was about 25 that she owned her first TV when my Mum and her siblings were quite young. However, at this point television only aired for certain hours of the day, so other entertainment options such as reading the paper, playing outdoors, or listening to the radio were used more frequently. Nan said she was always very busy and rarely had time to watch TV, although she used to watch cartoons with the kids, and really enjoyed watching Bonanza.
It’s mind blowing to see how quickly TV has advanced in the last 60 or so years, especially when comparing the experiences of Nan, Mum and Myself. I’m sure there’s going to be many years of crazy inventions and upgrades to come. One day my grandchildren will probably want to know about “The olden days” and be shocked by my outdated lifestyle.