Television in the 1960’s and 70’s was still a fairly new technology to us in Australia, it had a reasonably slow rollout – places such as Eden (Which is near my home town of Bega on the New South Wales south coast – Lecture content) didn’t have reliable television reception until 1971 – Something which I’m sure most of us find almost incomprehensible.
One thing I failed to consider about the introduction of television was how it wasn’t a service that people in the 60’s and 70’s relied upon. I talked to my mother earlier this week about her experience with the introduction of TV during her childhood and this is something that really came though. She and he siblings knew about television way before having one, but there was no rush to go out and grab a box and sit down in front of it.
I was reminded during this call that she had actually lived in Papua New Guinea between 1969 and 1971 and television has still not been introduced to the area. This meant that television in my mothers childhood had actually been pushed back a few years, and lead to them continuing the childhood lifestyle of playing outside until bedtime.
Once back in Australia, television was immediately in the mix – a black and white set, situated in the corner of the lounge-room. That’s about all mother dearest could remember. This TV did have strict rules though – the children could only watch television on weekends, even if they had no homework on a school day. They usually watched ABC programs, and were once banned from watching Kimba the White Lion.
This is all a far cry from when I was a kid when we basically had a TV to ourselves in a room with lino that meant we couldn’t really trash the joint, even if we tried. I find it interesting to see that we, at least during my childhood, had a much larger dependence on the television for both information and entertainment. TV was a great way to get information out to the public during my childhood, and now-days instant information has moved online though social networks like Twitter. Television paved the way for quick information to the public, even if it only started out as a weekend treat for the kids.