Since the development of television, it has been viewed as a way to bring the family together, a way to relax and unwind. But what commonalities do we share as children growing up alongside the development of TV?
When discussing the interview questions about childhood, family, and the TV with my grandmother; it was discovered that despite the generation gap, we had common experiences and memories, generating a general theme with family. The television has played a role in the every day family since is beginning, it is a place for families to gather for the night and slowly relax after a long day, but we were looking at television form another angle, from a child’s perspective. We are looking from the perspective of a child to find differences and similarities. After interviewing an individual that can describe the original introduction of television and, the impact that its development has implemented; it is somewhat strange to understand how big television was when it first came out.
An interesting story that was mentioned, described how to buy a television was very expensive, and the stores selling televisions would often have them playing in the windows. My grandmother had told me that people would often take a chair and watch television in the windows of the television shops.
To afford a television was a luxury, but as surely as imagined, technology advanced ever so quickly and television began to evolve from just black and white, to colour.
When discussing the formality or informality of the television and its setting during my grandmothers childhood, I recall many similarities in my childhood when I would visit their house for a family dinner. The family setting seems to remain the same, eating dinner as a family, not allowed to watch the television whilst eating dinner, only permitted to put the television on after a certain time, and experience it as a family. This is a complete contrast to what television has evolved into today; in early childhood, similarities of family bonding are present, but television has evolved into meaning something completely different to the family.
My grandmother described her television by being in the center of the room, surrounded by the furniture, being an informal setting. But listening to how she describes it, in contrast to what I have experienced in my early childhood at her house, to me it seems that her childhood memories of the television setting were quite formal.
After a brief conversation with someone else of similar age, it seems that it is so common for a childhood to involve television, surely that’s not the only memory of anyone’s childhood, but it begs the question; these days, why do we involve TV so intimately into our lives, is this okay to do? Especially considering the growth of TV and technology into the lives of today’s children. From my grandmother’s perspective, television was a way to bring the family together, to involve and gather the family at the end of the day, this family tradition seems to be fading, if not already faded in todays environment.
It is very interesting to see how far television has come since its introduction, and what it means to the family setting. What were also interesting were the differences in childhood memories from my grandmother’s generation to mine. The family element of television is only somewhat still evident in today’s television setting. It’s very interesting to see that the development of television correlates to its decline of family involvement. This change in the family involvement with the television might only be a change of mine, some families might still have the television and a formal family activity, but from starting to understand television from my grandmother’s childhood, there does seem to be a steady family involvement decline since its introduction.
The history of television in the family home has been an interesting evolution, to discover another perspective from another generation; it shows the different formalities and family values, and how they have progressed overtime.
n.a. 1948, ‘Men gather to watch TV through a store window in Pennsylvania in 1948’, Available From: < https://emmacongdon05.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/1dced-peoplewatchingtv15.jpg > (Viewed 9th August 2016) [Image]