“WOAH! You got to watch 77 Sunset Strip!? That show was too racy for us”
That was the reaction that my Dad had over our discussion with my Mum about their television habits during their formative years. However, it seemed to be the only point of conjecture when they talked about how they would take in television. Which I found fascinating.
This fascination stemmed from the fact that my parents grew up approximately 2200 kilometres away from each, parted by the Tasman Sea. My Dad a New Zealand Ex-Pat(ish) and my Mum from Sydney’s suburban outskirts. The distance however didn’t seem to change how they watch or where they watched the television from.
Sitting on the lounge, silent and just watching from the news broadcast until it was time for bed was both how they consumed television. For both, their father was awarded the “best spot”. Which reflects in our family as Dad always has the spot right in front of the television, prime real estate!
Social etiquette also meant that the television was never on with company in the house nor was it on during the day. Unless it was for Saturday morning cartoons. Far cry from when I would wake up every morning and watch Pokémon/Dragon Ball z before school. Ah, bless Cheez TV.
When I pressed my parents further about this different type of consumption and what they thought when I watched TV with them, with laptop and phone at the ready, my Dad said this:
“It’s just a sign of the way we are now. Your whole social experience is on those two things. You’re mesmerised by them, just as we were so consumed with TV when it just came out”.
I think that may be the key point when we think about television consumptions changing nature. What other infrastructure will affect how and where we view television. Will a change to metadata law scare people into not downloading the new Game of Thrones and staying ahead of their friends? If this change goes through will we see a return to consumption from a more traditional means? Time and place are undoubtedly important to answering these questions.