Nostalgia Is My Drug, Social Media Is My Dealer & I Can't Get Enough … but Why?

It's the great millennial secret that's not really a secret at all: We're obsessed with nostalgia. We love it. We crave it. We cannot help clicking through 15-slide slideshows about '80s hair accessories and '90s toys -- we will eat whatever people put in front of us, provided it was all made before 1993. But why?


I get it but I don't -- like, yes, I spent more than an hour hunting through my fourth grade yearbook when I found it in a closet, but I also can't honestly say that I miss 1999. I don't miss the royal blue faux-velvet shirt I was wearing in my school photo, but I loved -- LOVED -- reminding myself that it existed.

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Everyone does! Remembering is a thrill. It's a drug! Remember Sit 'n' Spins? Did the image of the yellow one that used to sit in your living room just bring you joy? 

In my own life, this nostalgia-drug-obsession thing manifested in a group text with two of my oldest friends and a game called "People You Haven't Thought of in a While." The game is played, as you might imagine, by texting each other the names of people we haven't thought of in a while. It's very fun. I'd even show you screenshots if it weren't full of people's names that don't deserve to be dragged into this. But it goes something like this:

Me: omg
Me: TALIA A.!!!!
Friend 2: OMG

Et cetera.

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The point is that nostalgia is our weakness, and to the best of my knowledge, no one really knows why. It's not easy or reasonable really to psychoanalyze an entire generation at once, but something is clearly going on. We will #tbt and #fbf until we die.

Do other generations feel this too? Is it because we came of age around the same time the Internet did and crave the physical evidence of a time before that? But no -- we have just as much fun watching YouTube videos circa 2005 as we do bonding over our lost Beanie Baby collections. We lose our minds when "MMMBop" plays in a bars. Strictly musically speaking, that should not happen.

Maybe it isn't that we grew up as the Internet did. Maybe it's that we use social media as nostalgia-fuel in a way that other generations don't. Either way, I don't think it's such a bad thing -- it's fun. It's thrilling. We're not hurting anyone or anything just by remembering them, and it's not like I still wear purple jelly sandals every day, so my career is all good.

If you figure my obsession out, lemme know. I'll be dreaming of Polly Pockets. And in the meantime, guard yourselves: All it takes is the memory of Koosh balls to crack us. 


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