in 1981, I was given my very own in-bedroom portable TV. I was in Grade 8 and 13 years old at the time. Spoilt much? Possibly, but also it’s likely to have been a very calculated attempt by my parents to separate a whiny, whingey teen girl from the younger brother who’s vey existence annoyed the crap out of her at the time.
I delighted in being able to select my own TV programming, way back in the days when Blankety Blanks and The Paul Hogan Show were the options for risque viewing and when Hey Hey it’s Saturday was actually on Saturday nights. It was the ducks-nuts of teenagedom and many of my friends without this luxury were quite jealous.
Did unlimited access to the gogglebox (all 4 stations, no SBS had been invented then) prevent me from normal teenage socialisation? No, not really. Was I distracted from my studies and homework because of the technology overload in my bedroom? Ummm, possibly, ahhhhh no definitely, yes. Overall, I don’t think too much damage was done to me, but of course, I am talking pre the era of mobile phones, x-box, playstation and other remote devices. Now there are all manner of beeping and buzzing devices to keep teens in their
caves bedrooms and I’d love to know your thoughts on this topic.
I’ve recently had Mr 16 beg for a TV in his room and I have been firm in saying no to this, despite my own early induction into the BedroomTV club. Currently, he has a desk in his bedroom with a desktop computer and internet access. He also keeps his iPhone in his room overnight and there’s a shelf stereo system pinched from elsewhere in the house and adopted. His set up is actually very meagre in comparison to what some of his mates have. Mean mum? Yep, I guess so, but it’s the decision I’m currently comfortable with for us, no rights and wrongs here.
According to American data collected in the 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study, a whopping “71 percent of teens reported having a television in their bedrooms, complete with satellite or cable hookup and premium channels.” I’m not familiar with the Australian data regarding the same, but socially Australia tends not to be too far behind in these things. I know of many families with TVs, gaming machines, DVD players and lots of other whizzy things ensconced in teen rooms. It seems to be quite common. Doing the sums, it then becomes apparent we have a generation of multi-tasking kids – sharing their time between traditional pursuits – such as homework 😉 and running around outside – and their gadgets. I guess only time will tell how this all pans out …
I know as a teen I possibly may have gone crazy without my own little TV, but I just can’t go there with mine. Have you? What gadgets rock your teen’s bedroom?