As a member of Generation Z, I have grown up in a world where television and technology are a given. I have established that I do take modern technology for granted, and in my quest to uncover life before digital technology I investigate older generations experiences with television.
The year was 1975. Australia’s experience with television was transformed forever with the introduction of colour television into society. My mother’s family was not fortunate enough to purchase a colour television until the late 70’s, when my mother was around 12 years old. Unsurprisingly, my mother and grandmother both vividly remember the day their family brought home their very first colour television.
“It was such an exciting day. A colour television is something the kids had wanted ever since they were released and now we could afford one. My husband’s pride and the smile on my kids faces was the highlight of the day for me. It sounds so silly, but its a day I’ll never forget.”
-Nanna (Baby Boomer)
In my mother and grandmother’s experience, the introduction of colour television arose a strong television culture in the home. From the late 70’s, my grandmother experienced a shift in her family’s behavioural patterns. Colour television made television viewing a far more engaging experience and as a result, the family watched a wider range of programs including ‘Hey Hey it’s Saturday!’. Although my grandmother recalls reduced communication among the family of a night, she states remembering enjoying ‘family time’ spent together watching television. She also recalls television creating a topic of conversation among her family and created more shared interests, hence bringing the family closer together.
The transition from black and white television was hugely significant in television as we know it. However television still had a long way to come before it reached the television that I (Generation Z) have grown up with.
As according to my mother and grandmothers recount of events, over the 20 years following the release of colour television, the physical appearance of television units underwent drastic physical changes.
“It was such a quick progression. Every few years the shape of television consoles was changing. With these physical changes also came cultural changes with how we watch television and I feel like television culture has almost done a 360 now.”
– Mum (Generation X)
The world of television is constantly evolving. Since the year 2000, television has transformed from analog broadcasting to digital providing a wider variety of and better reception for viewers.
Advancing technology however, is quickly superseding the culture surrounding television. With the introduction of streaming programs through the internet, television viewership has fallen. Increasingly, younger generations such as Generation Z use the internet to access television shows instead of watching through a television. Much of the reason behind this has to do with viewing on demand. The largest benefit of online viewing as that the program can be played whenever the viewer wishes and can be paused, skipped or rewound, a feature only previously available through recordings or pay TV. Features like these are becoming increasingly popular because they allow far more flexibility than traditional television viewing.
I personally still enjoy traditional television viewing and partake in a combination of traditional and online viewing. The migration to online viewing has me thinking however… in a society where lounge rooms are centred around a television, what comes next? My experience with television differs greatly to my mother and grandmothers. My grandmother who did not grow up with a television, to my mother who grew up with the family sat around one console watching the same program together, to my experience with several viewing devices in the house with the family watching different programs on different devices as according to our individual preferences.
My mother and grandmother’s recount of their experiences with television has me acknowledging just how far television has come in the last 50 years and wondering where television culture will go from here.
For more information on the conversation surrounding television, see below:
- ‘The evolution of television – TV’s migration to the cloud’ https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/_qs/…/evolution-of-tv-migration-to-the-cloud.pdf
- ‘The future of TV – Medium Migration’
Until next time, that’s this week Pinned.