1st May 2018

Social Context – 1984


Predicted Technology vs Actual 1984 Technology

In “1984” George Orwell writes about how being monitored 24/7 and having telescreens and clandestines microphones everywhere they go, including their homes. Although in modern day 1984 their technological focus’ were the newly released Apple Macintosh Computer – the most anticipated personal computer release to date. In the release of this the commercial was based partly on the novel “1984” as they had a role of Big Brother dictating the masses of people from the massive screen. They also had surveillance in some public places but not invading your personal spaces and no microphones. 1984 also had the releases of CD-ROM (Compact Disk Read Only Memory).

Another big release of 1984 was the Hero Jr Robot Kit – one of several robots on the market at the time that could sing songs, play games and even be used as an alarm clock.

Technology in 1984 is nowhere near as personal and space invading as predicted by Orwell. There was a lot more freedom in speech and actions then what he anticipated although the first flat screen TV was released 13 years past what he predicted.


Some of the biggest artist of 1984 were Prince, Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper and Lionel Richie. All 4 of these artist fit into the genre of Pop which is thought to be one of the best years of Pop music. 1984’s music also reflected on gender identity for some such as Boy George and the first rap album went gold and it was the year of the iconic “Thriller” music video by Michael Jackson. 1984 was also the first year of the MTV VMA’s which helped music videos become more popular and more accepting. Music from 1984 are still big hits and popular in the modern day showing how iconic they were then and now.


Some of the biggest hyped up clothing items and accessories of around 1984:

  • Muscle, net/mesh & slogan shirts
  • Pinstripe and acid wash denim
  • Fanny packs, velvet and scrunchies
  • Shoulder pads
  • Fat pants (parachute pants)
  • Animal print
  • Bucket hats and perms/long hair
  • Shoes without laces or massive ones
  • Neon/block colours

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