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Technology and Technological Advances Shape the American Culture

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Technological Advances Shape the American Culture

People stay current with events that are happening worldwide in many ways. They watch the news on televisions, read the newspaper or go to news station's web sites. Looking back on the good old days, before television, cellular phones, and the Internet, life was simple. It is unbelievable how the little advances in technology since the late 1800s have shaped American culture. I remember 1948 well. This is when cable television had fifty stations across the country and one million receivers. From here the television industry grew to new heights. By 1951, Americans all over the country could watch the same thing. I recall CBS's attempt at broadcasting shows in color. This idea did not last long due to the use of technology mismatching with what was used in black and white television sets. One late evening in 1953, I saw on the news that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the RCA compatibility system that made color and black and white kosher. The addition of color gave a new meaning to television.

Later in 1953, the first educational television (ETV) station aired. Being just a kid at this time, educational shows did not fascinate me, but my mother made me watch them. Despite attempts to ignore what was being said, I learned more than I could imagine. Around 1956, the first motion pictures were produced in Hollywood and sent out around the country. I remember watching this exclusive event on the family television. My parents did not understand the thrill of movies coming out. I guess it was because they were too old fashioned. The television stations that we watch today became national cable stations in the 1970s. I remember 1975 as if it was yesterday. During this year the HBO station became the first national cable network. Back then, HBO watchers did not pay extra for the movies or shows they watched. Now if you want to watch a movie on HBO you pay extra on your cable bill, that is, if your cable company provides HBO. Another cable network that went national during the late 1970s was TBS. The TBS superstation was one of my favorite stations during that time. The shows broadcasted have gotten better and the movies have gotten more interesting. Television channel selections were rare during the 70s, but then the 80s came and with this decade came others.
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