I really don't want to give my age...but some of you will come close when I tell you, I remember the time when gas was 50 cents a gallon...yes, a gallon, not a liter. It was back then, and even a little further back (before I started to drive) that the highest piece of technological equipment in the house was the television and the rotary telephone. For those of you who do not know what a ROTARY telephone is, it is the type that has a dial on the front with holes in it. You would stick your finger in the hole and turn the dial to the stop and then take your finger out of the hole. The dial, which was spring loaded, would then rotate backwards dialing the required number.
The second, was the television...some times color (if you were rich) but most of the time it was black and white. It had a channel dial on the front, that you would actually have to get up out of your chair, walk over to the TV and manual turn the dial to one of the 13 channels it offered. Of those 13 channels, you were usually lucky if you could pick up 3 or 4. There was no cable and definitely no satellite...the signal was picked up by the large metal, rake shaped antenna on top of your house roof. It also depended on how high the antenna was on how many channels you got.
Now the most important feature of that entertainment of the time was..."it was FREE". Once you bought your television (color or B/W) everything that came to the set through the antenna cost you NOTHING. "WHAT?" you say, "How could the stations afford to do that?" you ask in disbelief.
Well, and I'm sure someone who knows better, will correct me if I am wrong but my understanding is that "back then", Advertiser bought air time..."1 minute spots" yes, "1 minute spots" which would run every 10 minutes or so. So you would have one spot at the beginning of a show, 2, maybe 3 in the middle and one at the end. So in a half hour, you averaged 5 - 1 minute spots. Those advertising spots were enough to pay for the television studios to operate.
And that was it....the decision of the day was which of the three channels to watch.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE technology...I am the first in the doors of my local Geek Store to drool over this years new toys. Yet when I look at where my disposable income is going and the fact that my food budget doesn't buy what it use to because now I have to use it to pay my satellite bill, I have to ask myself, "Is technology slowly eating me alive?"
Now, we MUST have, HD Cable or satellite with a 60" LCD television. Attached to that TV is not just a HD Blue ray player but also our 3 (because 1 is not good enough) gaming consoles. This is all hooked up to our 10 Gazillion Watt 10.5 surround sound system. If we are lucky, we also have a separate room for the kids so they can have their own system so they don't bother us. Then we hook our laptops to the system so we can look at the 20 Gazillion pictures we took with our HD Video cameras or our cell phones (which every member of the family has to have, with a 3 year contract to go with them and heaven forbid if they loose or break the phone before the contract is up cause then you have to replace the phone with another one and another 3 year contract). Ohh, did I mention those laptops we were hooking to the HD Television, everyone in the family has one of those as well. All of this costs....big dollars. We no longer have the 3 free channels or the 2 radio stations to listen to...that is the price of progress.
My beef is, "What are we doing to ourselves?"
Yes, we all have the freedom of choice here in Canada and it is we, that choose what to spend our cash on. We, as a Society, have made it almost impossible for a two income family to keep their heads above water. I can not imagine, what a single income family or a single parent, has to give up to stay afloat. I realize this article is not going to change ANYTHING...I just want to make you think a bit, before you spend your kids lunch money on the next satellite package because it offers one station you just have to have.