When I was a toddler, my parents took our family to Disney World, the video camera they used to capture those precious moments was the size of another small child. When I was in middle school, pictures were taken on my bright green Kodak camera, the memory card was inserted through a converter into my computer, then they were promptly uploaded to Picnik for editing (enjoy below, PS that wasn’t even my dog).
When I was a kid, iPod Shuffles were the hot christmas gift. Mine held a whole 400 songs. When I was a kid, I spent hours setting up my Barbies, American Girl Dolls and Polly Pockets, only to scoop them up and neatly put them away in the toy closet. When I was a kid, Mad Libs were the bomb and I got in trouble in Mrs. Parker’s 5th grade class for playing with Cootie Catchers. Also, I was the sh*t for having an EnV phone with a keyboard.
Before middle school, things were saved onto floppy disks, then onto USB sticks. And computer games like Sims and Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? were on a series of CDs.
Today, I don’t even have a CD rom or one USB stick. Today, I save my school work, and literally everything else, to the “cloud.” Today, I babysit kids who would rather play on their iPad or Kindle than play with dolls or go outside.
Today, I can listen to millions of songs on Spotify with a few touches of my finger. Today, I can videotape, photograph and edit high-quality memories with a few touches of my finger.
I’m only 18, not even 20 years have passed and hard drives for computers have gone from the size of a small monkey to literally almost as thin as a coin. Innovation is rapid, more rapid than ever (Bill Gates agrees).
Now you’re probably asking yourself, what does this have to do with nostalgia? Because already, as young as, 18 I say to kids, “I remember when I was that age, things were so different.”
Things are so different. Look at elementary schoolers today, when I was in elementary school, Bermuda shorts from Aeropostale were in. Victoria Secret bras weren’t a thing, at least not for me (TBH they still aren’t, #brokecollegestudent). Instagram likes and followers didn’t determine how happy I was at night, like they do for many young girls today.
Don’t get me wrong, innovation is amazing. I’m so intrigued by how fast technology moves and changes. Millennials have already experienced an insane amount of change. I constantly find myself in a state of reflection, state of nostalgia (#thegoodoldays, am I right?).
There’s a whole marketing strategy aimed at young adults, “nostalgia marketing,” the yearning for “yesteryear.” In recent years, KFC, McDonald’s and Coke have brought back past marketing tactics that appealed to us as kids, including the “Hamburglar.”
Hamburglar, Colonel Sanders, and the case for reviving corporate mascots http://t.co/CCCZUG8yuW
— Fortune (@FortuneMagazine) May 20, 2015
Corporations, merchandising companies, food chains and local restaurants have created a new role on their team for Social Media specialists, directors, managers. Social Media barely existed ten years ago and already people are getting paid to specialize in it (dream job TBH).
There’s three different weekdays dedicated to hashtags for social media users to fulfill their nostalgia. #TransformationTuesday, #ThrowbackThursday and #FlashbackFriday. There’s even an app, Timehop, that compiles posts from Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Google Photos, from past years into one news feed users can check daily (my friends usually enjoy screenshots of my middle school FB status’ “#annouyed”).
WHO COULD EVER GUESS?!?! U got us anna u really did pic.twitter.com/1sugRGreq5
— Anna J (@Annnajohnsonn) May 4, 2015
Now, now I’m not saying other generations don’t have every reason to be nostalgic as well. Heck, listening to my Granddad reminisce about where he was when Kennedy was assassinated and how he felt about Eisenhower’s presidency is intriguing. Looking back on how far society has come since my mom and dad were is school is incredible.
Parents constantly say, you have no idea what it used to be like. My dad walked up-hill both ways to school, in the snow, everyday. Crazy right? See, I was listening to the ranting Daddy. The previous generation will always think they had it “harder” or even “better,” but how crazy is it that my 10-year-old cousin and I are in the same generation but had completely different childhoods because of technology. His elementary education included iPad learning, only some of my friends at that age had a learning-to-type class.
But looking ahead to what’s in store for us, the millennials, befuddles me; already we’ve changed and adapted to technology so much, I’m now the go-to in my family for technology help, and my dad went to school for it! I constantly ask how could we top this? Then Apple sets their next release date…