The life changing technology that had families huddling around a box in their living rooms, bonding over Saturday night programs. However, the way television has been viewed and engaged with has changed over the years. What was once considered a highbrow, family activity has since been replaced with individual viewing and skepticism. Allowing movement from a more formal atmosphere where television was seen as a privilege to television losing its novelty.
In my last post, I shared an interview I conduct with my dad (Neelam) about his view on television when he was growing up. Touching on the aspects that surprised me about how he view television when he was age compared to how I view it now. One point that struck me the most was how the sensationalism of television as a treat for the family, but has now changed as viewing TV has become more of an necessity for everyday living. Due to this the novelty that surrounded television has faded away.
Reflecting back on what my dad had said about Saturday morning cartoons being a highlight for his weekend got me thinking about how as I have gotten older I do not hold that level of enthusiasm for television in the morning as I once use to.
“Saturday mornings were good, use to watch cartoons with my sister.”
– Neelam Haria
However, when I was younger the mentality I had with television was much like my dad’s when he was first introduced to it, but now that technology has evolved and I have grown up along side it my views on the matter have changed.
I use to get excited over watching television when I was younger, waking up at 6 O’clock in the morning knowing full well my parents would allow me to watch TV with hopes of getting another hours sleep. But now I have my own computer and a phone whereby I am able to watch videos and TV shows without having to leave the comfort and warmth of my own bed. The introduction of Netflix, Hulu, Stan and Presto have not helped the phenomenon that was known as television as it has hinder the need and use for it, now that everyone can watch their favourite TV shows on demand, anywhere, at anytime. With this in mind there has been great skepticism over fast and easy streaming sites as they are causing a disruption to cable television at a scheduled time and date. Television services are now looking to create a partnership with these sites just to keep the industry alive.
In this sense, for my family in particular the use of a television has done a complete 360. Now sitting down in the living room and actually watching the TV has become a rare occurrence, and has become like going to the cinema. It has reverted back to the formal way of viewing television, for big events or for family film nights.
Having grown up with such constant change in regards to technology and the way I keep up with TV shows means that my need for a television lacks dramatically. Highlighting the change in culture revolving around viewing and engaging with television. The conception of the changing dynamic of viewing and experiencing television, I had was expanded further after reflecting on my peers blogs as well as my own. It was here that I noticed a considerable difference within the relationship and experience each individual had with television. Before this I had the belief that anyone older than me shared the same experiences with television. However, this was not the case as various factors came into play, such as, cultural beliefs and socio-economic background.
Comparing my interview with my dad to an interview conducted by Briana with her dad Eamonn, highlighted the socio-economic background of both participants. My dad (Neelam) came from a relatively wealthy family, therefore having a bigger living room and possibly a bigger TV for all to enjoy. However, for Eamonn the TV was small and meant that all his siblings and himself had to crowd around the TV to make out what was going on. The difference here just by creating an atmosphere with the television changed the whole viewing experience. Although my dad would have felt more comfortable and relaxed not having to crowd around the tv, Eamonn’s atmosphere would have possibly been a little more hectic.
From an ethnographic stand point, this research and comparison has expanded the knowledge of cultures, beliefs and socio-economic background on the perception of television by not only adding factual reasonings for such perceptions but also adding emotion and feeling towards an object that has been branded with such negative connotations.