The Evolution of Television: Its Priority has Jumped Since the ’70s

Come to think of it i watch television everyday – which is funny because from the age of 12 i know television wasn’t a high priority in my life, and now i watch it more than ever. But television has pretty much reinvented itself over the last 5-10 years. Here’s why:

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A decade ago, if you chucked on the TV and there was nothing interesting on you would go and do something else to entertain yourself, but because of Netflix – unlimited access to the movies and series we love – I’m spiraling into waking up at 4am on the couch after watching How I Met Your Mother since i got home that afternoon. Although Netflix and ‘on demand’ television continues the evolution from what i can remember television being, my mother’s recollection of growing up before Foxtel existed was surprisingly not what i expected.

I imagined that news television would be the sole interest of most people in the 1970’s, but it seems that entertainment had already become popular enough by then. While obviously news television was popular and quite useful in the 1970’s, my mum told me that like me when i was a kid, she had no real interest in watching the news and simply preferred to watch the “fun stuff” like Sesame Street.

However, in the 1970’s a TV’s were pretty hi-tech, and they were basically an adhesive to create ‘family time’ in the living room. My mum would spend evenings with her parents watching the shows they liked with her brother and sister, and can recall that a lot of the time spend together as a whole was spent around a television in their living room. Understandably, television is a stronger adhesive to create a space to bond as a family over radio, which was also a regular gadget of any house in the 1970’s.

Perhaps this is because a television itself is easier to engage with because of the visual element that engages you rather than simply the audio offered from a radio. For my mum, television was never a strong priority in spending leisure time, however, she thinks the direction of television is becoming ‘more watchable’. Because the archives of what is available to watch on television constantly grows, entertainment from watching a television becomes easier as time goes on and more series are being made.

Looking at television now, domains such as Netflix and on-demand television available on Foxtel are dominating as an archive to access basically anything popular on television in one place – it’s definitely more ‘watchable’ now than ever.


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