Thursday, November 8, 2007

What did we do before.....

I've been thinking about how things were before technology overtook our lives. How did we ever survive without cell phones, I-pods, GPS systems, HDTV, or TV? How did we manage with less than 100 channels from which to choose?

So, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to discuss what we did before......

Today, I pose the question: What did we do before television?

If you're old enough to remember what it was like, tell me what you did. If you've never lived without TV, tell me what you think people did.


Mary Witzl said...

Actually, we live without TV now, though we do have a video/DVD player that we use to watch movies.

Our flat is filled with books, and we have a drum kit, guitar and keyboard that are used frequently. We also play a lot of music, and all of us like to talk.

Sometimes we get power failures in our town. When that happens, I pop corn and we light candles. We've got an ancient wind-up gramophone and a lot of old records, and they're great fun to play. We play word games and tell stories.

Not that we're the Waltons or anything, but personally, I don't miss TV at all. I just wish I didn't feel so out of touch when everyone discusses the latest shows.

John Elder Robison said...

Well, referring back to this post

You are not old enough to predate television.

Now, I ignored television and did other things, but that is a different question. There are also those who cannot afford television and lack the skill or desire to steal a television and so do other things, but that too is different.

The saddest people are those who had television, and loved it and cherised it as children, but whose life choices leave them bereft of television today.

I sure am glad I never cherised it as a kid.

And for what I did instead . . . you have the book. I shot snakes and hung dummies.

The Anti-Wife said...

There are times I wish I didn't have a TV, but then how would I keep up with Drs. Grey and McDreamy and Bones and Booth, etc.

Shooting snakes and hanging dummys were only 2 of your very original and clever pranks. I don't think I'm Aspergian, but you and I share many similar traits.

The Anti-Wife said...

Oh, and by way, John, we didn't get a TV at my house until I was about 6 or 7 and then we only had one channel - CBS. We got NBC a year later and ABC a coupld of years after that. Even watching the national anthem at 10 pm and then the test pattern was exciting.

Holly Kennedy said...

I grew up with 3 brothers, 1 sister, and one TV and only CBC, which was usually tuned into NHL hockey games if my dad had any say in it (and he did). I rarely recall watching anything but Gunsmoke and The Flinstones.

It must have rubbed off on me, cause today we have 5 televisions in our home and I can say (on a bible, if required) I almost NEVER turn one on. I'd much prefer to write (I'll take all that free quiet time I can get with 2 kids and a house that hums with noise!)
Great post, Anti-wife :)

13 said...

Before television was invented, people tended to watch their radio for fun. Not as entertaining, but still, it was something at least. Before the radio was invented, people were forced to sit around and stare at their anvil. Massively boring. In the pre-anvil days, people stared at whatever stray, squarish objects they could find (rocks, boxes, logs, etc). And finally, Pre-historic humans had to watch television shows that consisted of one image: cave paintings. (The highest rated show of that time: I Kill Buffalo with Pointy Stick. It was extremely popular. Anyway).

Bernita said...

I seldom watch TV - with the exception of a sudden lust lately for CSI.
Before TV there was radio, they say.
The thing is,many people didn't have time to sit and stare.
They worked. There was always sewing or ironing to do, bread to set to raise, harness to mend, lamps to fill - chores, that sort of thing

The Anti-Wife said...

I love the quiet time, but I also like some TV. I'm most addicted to home improvement shows - always looking for ideas for my fixer house.

Very clever. Loved "I kill buffalo with pointy stick". It must have been extremely popular because you still find reminders of it everywhere.

The Anti-Wife said...

Reading was one of my favorite things to do. I always had a book in my hands.

Josephine Damian said...

When I first moved into the house I live now, I did not hook up the TV. I went cold turkey, no TV, for eighteen months. This also means I could not watch movies on the DVD player, so I watched them on the computer screen while sitting in my computer chair - not the most relaxing or comfortable way to watch, but at least I never fell asleep. lol

Then the DVD player on my computer broke, and I decided to get TV hooked up so I could watch movies, and of course I watch way too much TV like I used to and hardly ever watch movies.

During my no-TV period, I got my news off the internet and the weather off the radio, and I had a police scanner to provide me with (real) drama.

I hope to move again in a couple of years and it will interesting to see if I have the will power to do without the boob tube again.

The Anti-Wife said...

I'm too accustomed to having TV now to ever willingly give it up again. I go through brief periods when I don't turn it on, or turn it on and discover there's nothing I want to watch on any of the 100+ channels my cable company offers. And I rarely turn it on before 6 at night. Thanks for stopping by!

Merry Jelinek said...

I've always had tv, but as kids we really only watched at night or when we were forced to stay in - we were out of the house playing when we weren't in school, for the most part.

Nowadays there are three tv's at my house, one in the family room, one in my bedroom, and one in the garage... it's funny you should post this now, because I've noticed this week that I really don't watch tv much at all. My husband's out of town and the tv has remained off for the most part - except of course for Grey's Anatomy and ER... I have my shows that I really like, but otherwise I could leave it off.

I don't use the tv in my bedroom at all - but when my husband's home it's a necessity because he can't fall asleep with it off.

I usually prefer reading or doing artwork, visiting blogs, and I like having the radio on when I'm cooking or doing housework.

But, the other end, if the tv is on I will get sucked into reruns, especially comedies, and veg out.

Melek said...

i wasn't pre-tv, but my mom was adamant about us only watching so many hours a we had to play outside. what torture!! :)

i was pre-cell phone tho, and i can tell you what we did then. when we went out at night mom would hand us a quarter so if something happened, we could find a pay phone and call home. ha! a pay phone. how funny.

or maybe it was just a dime, not a quarter....

Shelley said...

I certainly don't predate television, but I do remember TV without cable. We had NBC, CBS, ABC and PBS, and that was about it. One local channel, I think. We played outside a lot.

As to the above commenter and the cell phones. Now that we have them, I can't imagine not having them. As the mother of a teenager and another almost-teenager, I can't imagine how my mother let us go out at night with absolutely no way of contacting us. The only reason I let my kids out of the house is because I know that if I need to get in touch with them, I can. Or that if they need to call me, they can. Well, they'll actually text me, which I hate, but that's a whole 'nother post, and this isn't even my blog.