The New Face Of Nostalgia For Millennials.
Nostalgia is nothing new. It’s been around for as long as people have been alive, this idea that ten, twenty years ago life was just better. Music is never as good as it was back then, we don’t make classic films anymore, celebrities just don’t have the talent of their predecessors. During the early noughties, the earliest incarnation of social media was packed with posts and lists with titles like “Only Nineties Kids Will Remember…” Jelly sandals, beanie babies, and long gone Tamagotchis made a generation just growing out of their childhood feel warm and fuzzy for a few minutes.
In fact, the internet was so much a source of nostalgia, that kids born in the nineties soon developed a reputation for being the most strangely proud of the decade they were born in. Of course, most of these kids were barely out of nappies when the nineties ended, but still, it was all about the sense of community.
It’s 2017 now, we’re almost twenty years in to the twenty-first century, and the target of nostalgia has shifted forward a decade to the early noughties, now accommodating a new generation of teenagers clinging to tokens of their past.
Nostalgia has not only outgrown an entire decade, but also the clickbait articles it used to inhabit. Now it’s at home on the social media of mainstream magazines, in dedicated club nights, and entire Instagram accounts. People are building well established social media presences based solely on wistfully remembering a time when we covered ourselves in body glitter and velour tracksuits were the epitome of style.
Possibly the most well known and comprehensive source of all things popular at the dawn of the century is Pop Culture Died In 2009.
A blog with over 140,000 followers, PCD2009 as it’s also known is a virtual museum for Hollywood between 2001 and 2009. In between scans of tabloid magazines peddling gossip about socialite feuds and rehab visits, you can find roundups of everything that happened in a particular week in 2007, breakdowns of the biggest noughties news stories from beginning to end (think Paris Hilton’s jail saga, or Hollywood’s brief obsession with kabbalah), and roundups of what the cast of your favourite reality shows are up to now.
Matt, the nineteen year old student behind the project, puts his success down to celebrity being a “very calculated process now.” He says that the appeal of the era is the authenticity behind it. Clearly others agree with that sentiment, because this summer Pop Culture Died In 2009 spilled out from the internet in to real life, teaming up with New York museum for an art exhibit based around some of the decade’s most iconic moments.
Although the era only ended eight years ago, it doesn’t look like there’s a time limit that needs to be observed when it comes to getting misty eyed about the past. Older generations might have used photo albums and keepsakes, but this generation – the millennials, as they’re now known – have invented and innovated new ways to look back that still reflect the people they are now. Now it’s Instagram accounts and fashion edits, in another eight years it will be something new entirely.
The first step will be figuring out what to name this decade…