Guess what game-changing, life-altering, cultural landscape-shifting megaphenomenon was born thirty years ago this week?
Here’s a hint: back then when we begged my parents to get with the program and purchase hi-tech gadgets for our video and audio consumption my mother pointed out the following:
“The fastest way to ruin a marriage? Cable TV.” So we did no such thing and remained behind the times. Even when this very cool item bowed in August of 1981. Now granted it was a luxury then and not de rigueur, as it is for so many families today. Although I do see her point. We never got cable TV, and they did stay happily married for thirty-one years.
But, thirty years ago this week – yesterday, to be precise – MTV was born. Chances are if you were even lucid you might be a teensy bit hazy on those first days. Consider it in the contest of today… How well aware are you of brand new internet pheeenoms? How soon were you aware of Facebook, MySpace, Groupon, and You Tube? And are there newer things that you’re just hearing about that might just hit big? Often these things take time. On the other hand, when MTV launched it’s not like we were all sitting around surfing the web so we missed it …
One of my friends growing up had a father who worked for the electric company and fancied himself a tech guru who always purchased the latest and greatest stuff. Sure enough, they went and got MTV long before anyone else. So, we would go over on Friday nights and sit quietly while he pulled out about five clickers and within two or three minutes we got to watch MTV. And it was really something — videos were like nothing you’d ever seen before. In the beginning it was sooo riveting, you really couldn’t pull yourself away. How could you leave? What if that video came on? It’s not like you could capture it somehow and play it back at whim. Plus – we knew the videos that were out there since there was a limited amount, so there was always a chance that a Duran Duran or Peter Gabriel one would come on or better yet – Michael Jackson – and you’d have missed it!
That was clearly a long time ago – do they even play videos anymore? I think not. But they sure changed the world when they did.
I don’t watch MTV too much now – do you? If you were a fan, let us know when you actually stopped watching MTV…
1) The Real World
2) Yo! MTV Raps
4) Road Rules