Yes … I really am talking about a plant on a television.
That might not seem like a massive change, but to me it is.
I remember growing up with all sorts of stuff resting on our television … lamps … plants [a little cactus] … ornaments and, at Christmas time, a little nativity setting.
Of course it was easy back then because TV’s were so massive, it could almost double as your dining room table … but now, with their ultra-thin screens, you can put nothing on them and in a weird way, that’s kinda sad.
I know … I know … you think I’m being ultra-sentimental and I guess I am … but the beauty of having a TV so wide you could rest all manner of things on it was that you were able to inadvertently customise it with things that made it part of your home as opposed to simply being an object within the home.
Of course I shouldn’t be surprised as this is just part of the technological lifestyle evolution that has been going on since the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.
Back then – when arguably, audio visual technology changed our lives more than it does today – everything was created to fit in with our furniture rather than stand out.
Televisions were placed in cabinets and hi-fi’s were hidden inside sideboards – only to be seen when you wished to play a record or watch a show.
It was all part of the belief that the home was where ‘you interacted with family’ and – unless you were doing something as a family – technology should be experienced, not seen.
Then the 80’s and early 90’s came and we saw a shift in attitudes.
Technological advancement in audio visual equipment had evolved massively and suddenly these objects became products of desire … status symbols, if you will.
[The above pic is the stereo I got for my 21st birthday. It still works as I took this photo a couple of weeks ago when I was back at home]
From being hidden away, they were now something to be seen … admired … coveted … however because culturally we had been educated to think these products should be part of the home rather than be the focus of the home, we found ways to blend them in rather than place them on a pedestal.
Which is why we put lamps on them. Or nativity sets.
But now we’re in the 3rd phase.
Where these objects are recognised as things worthy of their own status.
Almost like they are a decoration.
Which might be why we hang televisions on the wall or place speakers in our ceilings.
And while you could argue it is almost like we’ve gone back to the 50’s by incorporating this equipment into our lives rather than letting them stand out, I would argue differently.
Regardless how thin a 50” television is, it’s still a 50” television.
It’s created to be seen.
And while the consultancy, Red, told Samsung that the best way to sell their flat screen televisions was to help them blend into the room [as women didn’t want it to be the centre of attention, see page 4 of the link] there’s only so much you can do to disguise it.
You can’t even put a plant on it.
Which means it owns the room rather than you owning the television.
Don’t get me wrong, I love technology and – believe it or not – a tidy house, but I can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia for the days where audio visual equipment was created to fit in with your life rather than be a symbol of a generic, soulless lifestyle.
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