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Back to the future: why are we opting for nostalgic pop culture?

Volitional Reconsumption

Volitional Reconsumption

.. is a deliberate act of revisiting old cultural favorites, as a form of self-discovery and self-identity. When people rewatch something, they watch it more intensely and can find out creative details and hidden meanings that were lost in the first viewing, appreciating the fine work of art even more.

Example: The Most Popular Sitcom in the UK in 2019 was the 90s sitcom Friends, which was in the Top 10 most-watched show list on Netflix the same year.

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Back to the future: why are we opting for nostalgic pop culture?

Back to the future: why are we opting for nostalgic pop culture?

https://www.theguardian.com/safe-is-the-new-bold/2020/jan/31/back-to-the-future-why-are-we-opting-for-nostalgic-pop-culture

theguardian.com

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Key Ideas

"Retro" Love

Production of new TV content has increased exponentially since the last decade, due to a variety of streaming platforms competing against each other and a whole lot of channels on the air.

But paradoxically, cultural consumption is moving towards the tried and tested classic programs and series, which seem comforting, familiar and a safe bet.

Searching For Stability

Retro video games and 80’s /90’s music are a popular choice even with thousands of new and ultra-realistic video games and so many options in music being available, as they provide a sense of comfort in a world that is increasingly precarious and unstable.

The overabundance of content makes people feel overwhelmed and confused. Add to it the fact that today’s pop culture options often reflect the current dystopian world, when most of us are wanting to escape from it, and have limited time. 

Volitional Reconsumption

.. is a deliberate act of revisiting old cultural favorites, as a form of self-discovery and self-identity. When people rewatch something, they watch it more intensely and can find out creative details and hidden meanings that were lost in the first viewing, appreciating the fine work of art even more.

Example: The Most Popular Sitcom in the UK in 2019 was the 90s sitcom Friends, which was in the Top 10 most-watched show list on Netflix the same year.

Shared Experiences

In a society that is losing its sense of community, sharing of classic cultural entertainment, like watching an old, cherished movie together is an outlet towards a positive shared experience.

The tried and tested pop culture options have emotional and psychological upsides for most of us, making them a comforting, nostalgic choice.

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We use our memories to imagine the future

We predict what the future will look like by using our memories. This is how actions we do repeatedly become routine. For example, you have an ideas of what your day will look like at work tomorrow based on what your day was like today, and all the other days you’ve spent working.

But memory also helps people predict what it will be like to do things they haven’t done before.

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Example: A measurement of the high frequency of guitar (common in retro-rock classics) was also found in comparatively modern songs in the late 90s.