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What If There Was No TV?

What TV used to look like, if it existed in the past

This is an early TV, before they got flat and big and really cheap.  This old model would cost around $100,000 in today's dollars (well, a lot more than you'd think, anyway).

This is an early TV, before they got flat and big and really cheap. This old model would cost around $100,000 in today's dollars (well, a lot more than you'd think, anyway).

In the beginning, there were windows in houses...

Before television, people at home used to look through rectangular holes in walls to gain a perspective on the world around them. These were called "windows" (yes, that was where the Microsoft term came from) and they were made of transparent glass. They were predominantly build on exterior walls and allowed the inhabitants of the home to look outside, without allowing the weather to intrude into the home. People could see the street they lived on, the yard they played in and, if they were on a hill or near a park, a vista of the local countryside, city or other distinguishing features nearby.

It was often, perhaps on snowy or rainy days, a popular pastime for one or more family members to gather in front of one these framed glass rectangles and stare out at the immediate world outside of the home. They could perhaps see their neighbors, their neighbors's dog or even vehicles passing by in something called "real time". This meant that what they were seeing through their glass rectangle was happening now, in the immediate existence of everyday life. It was not recorded, archived, replayed or Tivoed, as is the usual perspective of today's glass-rectangular TV-viewing of the world around us. Yes, I am referring to the electronic windows we now see in homes across the country, called televisions or TV's for short.

Families gather around these electronic TV windows for hours on end, day and night, staring at the views of local, regional, international and fictional places readily accessible from the push of a button. It is enabled through various technologies interconnected with "networks".  These technologies are called cathode ray tubes or plasma or LCD or some other term. But what if this window didn't exist? What would life be like without this glowing rectangle in our homes we call television?

What if there was no TV?

Network Trailer: The movie about the dangers of Television

The electronic window to the world around us

Press button, watch, press button, watch...

Press button, watch, press button, watch...

What if there was no Television?

Life without TV? Can you imagine such a world?

It is difficult for the younger generation to comprehend a world without TV. Imagine only hearing your favorite show on something called a "radio", with only sound to paint a picture?Further back in time, there was something called a "book", without even the basic sounds to amplify a story or scene, a drama between people, a story of conflict and character.  Can you imagine something so primitive?

No, the electronic window has dominated our senses to such a degree that it has now become the e-book, the e-radio and the e-everything in our lives. The invention (or invasion, as some would call it) of TV focused the family inwards, so that the windows became covered up (blinds to be forever closed) and the only view was through the electronic glass rectangle of television.

But what would our life be without TV? Could we survive? Would we have any quality of life at all? How would be get our information? Our view of celebrities? Our fashions and competitions? Our very identity? Would we be in a new dark age? An age with only sunlight to illuminate our view of the world? Would our nightly news be tossed against our front door in rolled-up bundles of newsprint? Would we be forced to look outside the exterior walls of our homes to determine the weather? Could we adapt to such hardship?

We humans are strong of heart and brave of soul. If TV didn't exist, we would still exist. We would know less about the inane minutia of other people's lives, but the big events of the world would still arrive in another form to our homes, perhaps even through the archaic mechanics of conversation. That is the exchange of spoken words between two or more people in "real time", in case you've lost this ability recently.

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So, in summary, if there was no television, we would all stare out of our exterior-walled windows, receive paper images tossed on our doorstep and converse with other real people in real time using sounds, either directly or spoken over another invention called the telephone. Now we're only wondering "what if" about TV.  Not the telephone!  Let's get real, people.  If we didn't have that invention, we'd really be screwed!

The amazing world of Television


Jim Henderson from Hattiesburg, Mississippi on May 22, 2020:

Yes, indeed. What a strange world we used to live in. I loved magazines, books, reading the newspaper, etc. The bookmobile came to town, what an event that was!

That was when people used to think for themselves rather than repeat what they heard someone say on tv.

Great thought and a wonderful reminisce. Enjoyed.

Mayuri Khachkad on July 06, 2014:

thanks, for comment ....!

Craig Forgrave (author) from Canada on August 25, 2012:

Thanks, we just came back from a holiday in a rustic cabin with no TV and it was wonderful to disconnect for a while.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on August 25, 2012:

This Hub really hit home for me because I could live very well with no TV. Now the rest of the family would scream and pitch a fit. It's all garbage on TV anymore.

Good Hub....

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