BY: NADIA ZAIDI
Today’s generation of millennials seems fixated on paying homage to ’90s pop culture. From music to fashion to technology, we seem to be reminiscing about the Good Ol’ Days more and more. And let’s not forget about all those television-to-Netflix revivals. Not that I’m complaining!
I’m guilty of it too. Yes, I am a ’90s fanatic. I loved everything about it. From grunge to platforms and girl groups (and how can we forget the tamagotchi?) It all seemed so original and spirited. The simplicity of television, culture, and zeitgeist of a time when we weren’t bound by the latest iPhone or social media networks.
I didn’t grow up with a cellphone. I got my first one at 18. I didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, or even YouTube during my formative years – frankly, I didn’t need it. Life was busy, colourful, interesting. It still is, but so many people are missing out on it.
I think what we are searching for is this magic and emotion that the ’90s evoked. It was about good music, television with a message, and books that you could actually hold. Technology wasn’t a driving force in our social lives. Now it’s ruined us.
Now, everything is created, instrumented, bred to become the next viral hit. Our thoughts aren’t authentic. They are filtered, influenced, deconstructed and misconstrued because everything is projected and rather manipulated online.
Perhaps we just miss living in real time. The excitement of buying a book at the book fair, buying a real CD and playing it in a boombox for the first time, being forced to actually look up definitions in the dictionary. It was those moments of gathering around the television to witness live events, or only watching the news once a day at a specific time. Oh, and actually reading a newspaper. Some of these things made life more communal and contributed to shared experiences. Now, we are disconnected, shallow, and oftentimes, dull.
It’s this sentiment of emotions and ideas that doesn’t seem as evocative today. We’ve forgotten the simple pleasures and have become too obsessed with buying the next big thing. A phone that can actually talk back to you would blow our minds in the ’90s. Today, we’re upset because Siri doesn’t always pick up on our voice recognition.
For many millennials, the ’90s was also a time without obligations of working a mind-numbing job, paying piled up bills, or dealing with crippling anxiety. It’s naturally comforting to be reminded of our childhood. The peak age of nostalgia is between the ages of 18 and 34.
In the ’90s, child and youth culture was about retaining one’s youth and not trying to outgrow anything. Kids were allowed to look, behave, and dress like kids. Today, it seems like young girls look like they are in their 20’s, and a fixation with celebrity beauty is influencing premature procedures and provocative perceptions on appearance. Even young boys are coddled and moulded by toxic contraints of masculinity.
Does it make me strange to have enjoyed not always knowing the answer to everything? Sure, the Internet is great (hard to live without it nowadays), but sometimes it’s okay not to find out the answer to everything with the swipe of your fingers.
For the record, these are some of my other favourite things about the ’90s:
- Music. Period.
- Television with a message
- Fanny packs
- VCRs – and sometimes not VCRs
- Cassette tapes
- MS DOS
- Super Nintendo
- Chunky platforms
- Butterfly clips
Can we just forget about our smartphones for a little bit? Even if just for an hour a day.