Bring on the nostalgia, I want my childhood back

First Posted: 7/27/2009

Apparently I am a part of Generation Y.
While I would prefer a more creative name (Generation X has the market on the best name), after reading an article in a recent edition of The New York Times, I became much more aware of the trends that define my generation.
The article drew me in because it talked about the fact that 20-somethings are already nostalgic. At first, I read the article only to prove to myself that it was not true. However, after reading it, I realized that it was, in fact, essentially right.
The premise of the article is that my generation, Generation Y, has already become nostalgic for the things of our past. Example A was, of course, Harry Potter. And, being the fan that you all have come to realize I am, I must agree. The first book, Sorcerers Stone, hit the U.S. when I was 12, just one year older than the three main characters. As the characters have grown, so have I, though their growth has been delayed slightly due to the fact that they are fictional and it takes longer to write a book than to live a year.
However, over the past 12 years, I and my peers have watched the trio grow, face adversity and attempt to overcome evil, something that we as a generation have also had to endure.
According to the article, people of my generation are searching for nostalgia earlier due to our experiences thus far. We have gone from the relative calm of the late 1990s with a good economy and no war to the attacks of Sept. 11 which led to a war on two fronts and a near-catastrophic downturn in the economy.
Taking that into consideration, is it all that surprising that we are looking for reminders of happier times at every turn?
According to the article, my generation sees the world before Sept. 11 as a period of innocence. Our biggest worry was the Y2K bug. That all seems a world away now… Nostalgia comforts people and the Millennials are probably craving comfort right now.
Harry Potter, which bridges the transition from a pre-9/11 to a post-9/11 world, is just one example of this phenomenon.
The reunion of New Kids on the Block for a tour is another glaring example. This group of boys sang and danced their way into the hearts of any number of girls who, when the tour was announced, clamored to the ticket offices in search of a prize. These girls are in their 20s and are looking for the return of a small part of the innocence of the past.
The author of the article spoke of this phenomenon as akin to the baby boomers search for nostalgia after JFKs assassination shook the world that they knew.
Before reading this article, I never would have considered that my generation is searching for nostalgia at every turn already, but indeed we are. I know I am not the only one who is mad that the powers that be decided to re-animate the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Care Bears so that they are digitally enhanced and, for all intents and purposes, creepy.
Advances in society are necessary, but it seems that they are becoming more frequent. Is it really a surprise, considering all of this, that people my age are craving the simpler days of Saved By the Bell and the Happy Gilmore version of Adam Sandler?
Bring on the VHS and the Compact Disc. Im not ready to let go just yet.
Morgan Wall is a staff reporter for The Mount Airy News. She can be reached at [email protected] or 719-1929.

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