TECHNOLOGY news has been dominated this week by what Ofcom is calling the "reinvention of the 1950s living room".

The communications watchdog has done research which shows that happy families are once again gathering around the single TV in their front room, as opposed to splitting up to watch a different set in every room of the house.

They are, however, bringing their gadgets with them and multi-tasking by fiddling with smartphones and tablets.

What the research, and most commentary on it, seems to have missed are the obvious reasons for this phenomenon.

In the 1950s, TVs were a new and exciting development — and were expensive. Families couldn't afford to have more than one.

But they quickly became commonplace, with mass-manufacturing and increasingly cheaper availability. By the 1990s, everyone was drowning in Matsuis.

Then along came fancy flat-screen TVs and the digital switchover, and suddenly TVs were expensive again. Most houses now only have one main TV again.

The Ofcom research shows that 91 per cent of adults watch their main living room TV at least once per week, but 53 per cent regularly multi-task. A quarter of people regularly interact with or communicate about TV while watching them.

Half of adults now own a smartphone and 24 per cent of households have a tablet – hence comments like "Can't believe XXXX has been voted off!” on Facebook every time the X-Factor is on.

Far from the "happy 1950s family" idea that Ofcom are trying to portray, we are now living in what people in the 1950s would probably have thought was an Orwellian nightmare.

We wake up and look at the latest Twitter updates, vapidly munch cereal while staring at the breakfast news, and then head to work, playing with smartphones on the train.

At work we stare at a PC or Mac screen all day, then come home and watch more TV while eating on the sofa, before reading e-books or catch-up TV on tablets in bed. Then repeat.

If we have kids, they're probably propped in front of CBeebies or playing Fruit Ninja on a touchscreen, or, when they get older, sitting at the dinner table playing on a Nintendo DS.

And all the while, these screens are blasting corporate and government-sponsored messages into our brains (like this research by Ofcom) for either nefarious or unknown purposes.

We are at war with Oceania. I'm feeling doubleplusgood.