When you think back on how you view the television what sorts of things do you think of? Do you have fond memories of when you were a child? Sitting around the TV watching a special movie with the family, or do you have the same memory I have, waking up in the morning before school running down the stairs to try and catch a few cartoons while I ate my breakfast and got myself dressed. For this blog I interviewed my mother to see what memories she had of growing up and her relationship to the TV.
I found the differences between her memories of the family gathering together completely different to my own. In my house hold there was more than one television. There was the one that was upstairs and the one that was in the main lounge room downstairs. The TV upstairs was the old TV that had been replaced by the one that was in the main room. We did not borrow these TVs, we owned them. The downstairs lounge room, from my memory, being more of a “formal” setting. It had the nice leather lounge set, the big fancy entertainment unit, and paintings all over the walls. This was where we would entertain people when they came over. The lounge upstairs had an old Lounge, and the TV stand was simply an old desk that my brother no longer needed.
In comparison, my mother remembers vaguely, that her family did not own the TV that they had in their house they had borrowed it from her grandmother. She could not remember whether or not her siblings got to choose the cartoons that they watched, she simply remembered watching Disney films and cartoons with them sitting around her. They only had the one TV, and my mother’s memories of this place was that it was large, roomy and comfortable. Unlike myself, my mother and her family did move a fair bit, and due to the TV not being theirs she remembered going without TV for a fair bit of time until they settled into a permanent home in Sydney when they finally got to have their own TV set.
When I look back and compare my life now and its relationship to television, to what it used to be. And then again comparing it to the relationship my mother has. I can see a massive shift in what the role of TV plays in the household. Where my mother and her family did not really focus their lives around watching TV, my life as a child was all about catching a few cartoons before (and after) school as I could as it was still the novelty of being able to watch movies and shows at home. But the focus was still, like my mother, that you went outside to play and TV was a sometimes thing. But now, the TV when I am home is almost on the entire time I am home. Even when I am not paying attention to it. I have become accustomed to having the noise in the background as a sort of comfort measure.
It would be interesting to be able to ask my own children in a few years’ time about their own memories of having a TV, and then comparing it to my own memories as a child, then again to my own mothers’ memories. Over all I found this experience very enlightening and quite enjoyable.