Reliving The Past

Photo credit: Lívia Cristina L. C.

History is constantly repeating itself. When you look at the current trends of today, there is something interesting about the way we pick up old trends and make them our own. Maybe it’s just the growth of the hipster culture, but there has been an uproar in sales of old-school merch.

Nowadays everyone is collecting vinyl records for their new record player or re-filling the film in their polaroid cameras, even though technologically we’ve advanced from these things. The 2014 Nielson Music Report stated that vinyl LP sales jumped 52% this year. Although I can’t deny that everything sounds much more crisp on vinyl, and I’m totally addicted to my own record player as well, it’s still a bit of a surprise how mainstream vinyls have become. Maybe it’s because we are constantly longing for the past, bringing back old trends to fulfill a sense of nostalgia. This is why we appreciate whatever is vintage and old school. It’s why we loved thrift stores before Macklemore made it cool. We are reliving the past and recreating history.

The other day I saw someone using a typewriter and thought why on earth would anyone want to go back to typewriters? But it’s the same reason I listen to vinyls or my friends are taking polaroids. The feel or the sound, the way it really enlightens your senses. And of course, that essence of nostalgia. Sure it’s convenient to have your music synched to your iPod, but there is nothing like watching a record spin and appreciating the lost art of each album. And there is something much more real about capturing a moment when your photograph prints right away without ever being edited. It is the genuity of stepping away from all this advanced technology and going back to basics.

We’re reliving past decades through various mediums, fashion trends, and lifestyles. We think we are the first to put flowers in our hair, do drugs, and go to festivals, but what do you think happened at Woodstock?  Ravers are the new age hippies.  Just like scene kids are the new age punk rockers, we take certain stereotypes and subcultures and we make them our own.  Musicians follow trends of old musicians, films follows trends of past films, we recreate what we’ve seen before because we thought was cool.  We weren’t the first, and we definitely aren’t the last to keep repeating old trends.

While all of us twenty-somethings are resorting back to old fads, there are little kids playing games and listening to music on their iPads. But what’s even weirder is when we see younger generations following the outdated trends that we know we started. A lot of 90s stuff is coming back like Missy Elliot at the Super Bowl, and those mall choker necklaces, which I don’t really know why we would want to bring back because they always made my neck itchy. But I’ll be honest and admit that I searched all over my old bedroom to find my old ones, but sadly came up empty handed. Shortly after that, I ordered a new one on Amazon.

Maybe I just miss my childhood or feeling like an OG of the 90s. I like to think of myself as a 90s hipster in the sense that hipsters are the inventors or first adopters of novelties because, well, I lived through the 90s. I wore overalls and watched Hey Arnold after school. I thought my portable CD player was the coolest thing since sliced bread. I mean, at least it was a step up from those HitClips. I’m glad those haven’t made a comeback yet. Although I could never get sick of hearing the same 15 seconds of Britney or N*Sync over and over again.

And that’s probably how our parents feel about us when we steal their old records or high-waisted jeans. They know they were the innovators and they like watching us follow their old trends because it brings them back. We are constantly following other generations but now other generations are also following us. We get the best of both worlds. We get the old and the new. We get the simple and the complex. We get to relive and recreate the past.

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