As our society continues its high-tech evolution, more and more people cry out for simplicity. It seems increasingly evident that many of us, although highly reliant on its tools, desire a less modern lifestyle.
We’ve all read the studies. The tech platforms of social media have the power to increase feelings of loneliness, depression, anxiety, and envy. Social media may be beneficial for its practical assets (i.e., its ability to relay information faster than your average corporate network). However, like most everything else in life, there is a downside.
Young people, as a result of this trend, seek authenticity that can seemingly only be expressed through their consumer choices. This manifests perhaps most apparently in the fields of entertainment and fashion. It may be 2017, but historical nostalgia has become all the rage.
Escapism has always been a feature of the human condition. However, its current iteration has taken the form of a heartfelt desire for eras that seemed easy, simple, and fun. Many yearn for the days of the 1980s and 1990s. The market seems to be saturated with ’90s fashion trends, ’80s-based television shows, and movie remakes based on 30-year-old films and TV shows. We’re riding a current wave of “it” girl model ’90s fashion influencers like Bella Hadid. In television, we’ve seen the monumental success of ’80s period piece “Stranger Things.” We just watched a remake of Stephen King’s “IT” see high box office numbers. There seems to be no shortage of nostalgic, escapist fare burning up the airwaves and topping the charts.
Show business is an industry that responds to public demand, and our nostalgic zeitgeist is writing checks faster than Hollywood can cash them.
Will our current nostalgia frenzy serve as an effective coping mechanism when dealing with the stress of the present? That remains to be seen. But in these complex and tumultuous times, it may be the distraction some of us need.