While I was asking my dad about his childhood experience with TV, his memories started refreshing. He said that the culture of watching television has changed so much from his time comparing with my time.
He told me that he lived in a village with his mother, 2 sisters and 2 aunties. “My family was poor we wouldn’t have enough money to eat a proper meal, we would eat lentil every day and the day we ate meat was a luxurious kind of day. We had no TV at our home, not many families could afford a black and white TV set in our village.” My dad said, with a heavy throat.
“In the late 1970’s, a neighbour of mine got their first television. It was 14 inches small, black and white TV. Somedays when it was time for the dramas to telecast, due to load-shedding the electricity would go off and we all would be so angry and sad. However even though there were bad signals and load-shedding I was absolutely amazed with watching TV because I had never seen anything like that before.” My dad said, with an emotional smile.
Around 9 to 12 homes of kids used to gather at one place to catch up with the dramas, the TV was kept in an open area on a table and nothing surrounded it, not even a cupboard. It was kept in an open area so that everyone who came in could watch the TV and wouldn’t need to stand near the door. Everyone would sit on a Charpai (Wooden frame woven net bed), late comers had to sit on the floor if there was no more space on the bed. The television media was the space in which, and by which, societies exist as social forms of shared experience (Castells, 2004).
Indeed, I cannot deny that there is a drastic change in the way we watch TV now. It’s not only changed in looks and functions but the behaviour one has while watching TV as well. In the past the TV bought the families together but with time TV no longer bought families together the same way it used to. Nowadays everyone is on their phones. Even if the TV is ON, we are there physically but we are not really there mentally.”
What’s your view on the way we watch Television nowadays, compared to old times?
Khan Sultana Nazish
Castells, M. (2004). “Afterword: Why networks matter”, Demos Collection, , pp. 219-225.