In my history of TV and Radio class the other week, we had to write an essay interviewing someone over 50 and under 25 about their TV watching habits growing up. It seemed like fitting timing also with the Oscars coming up at the end of the month (and the fact that my friend and I discovered a Spotify playlist called “Lizzie McGuire Comes On At 4pm” and it’s life changing.
SO, with those two things in mind, I thought I’d share my finding on interviewing my mom (born in the early 1960s), and my younger sister to compare their TV watching habits and show the contrast of the millennials.
For starters, my mom talked about how watching TV was a family event. She said that certain movies were on once a year around the same time so annually her and my grandparents and uncle would watch the Wizard of Oz
when it came on.
That literally blew my mind when you compared it to my sister saying she remembers watching Full House and Lizzie McGuire before bed with me, and then starting talking about Shonda Rhimes
“TGIT” lineup, saying “I’ve never watched it then though I always record it and watch it on the weekends because I HATE COMMERCIALS but I liked having Grey’s Anatomy
back to back.”
Later on I asked my mom about “guilty pleasure” shows, and she said they were nothing like they were today, because shows were pretty innocent. Her “guilty pleasure” was watching M.A.S.H in high school.
My sister on the other hand went on about how when she was younger she loved watching SpongeBob every morning, and in high school she secretly was obsessed with (of course) Keeping Up With the Kardashians
Obviously TV has come a long way since the 1960s and 1970s, but the shift into it being a very isolating ‘in my room alone watching Netflix’ experience is what really caught my eye and I think shows the greatest shift from the family time it was back then. Next time you catch yourself isolating in your room watching endless hours of 30 Rock
(or whatever show you never get sick of!) just be mindful of that!