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Consumption trends 2022: time of nostalgia

Tendencias consumo 2022: tiempo de nostalgia

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Nostalgia for the past is becoming fashionable and one of the explanations for this phenomenon occurring has to do with the times of uncertainty experienced with the crises and changes that are being seen in society. Source: Fashion Snoops We feel nostalgic in response to a loss of autonomy, which explains why this feeling is particularly intense in young people. Today we constantly see several of the aesthetic events that marked past decades reappear, especially the last ones of the 20th century. More and more it seems that there is a longing to return to the past and remember times that for many were better. But what drives that nostalgic feeling?

Behind the nostalgia

Nostalgia arises in times of uncertainty and great change, which explains why nostalgic consumption seems to be always present today. On a macro level, as we moved from the 20th century to the 21st, humanity collectively experienced great changes in social relations, rapid technological advancement, and great globalization. These conditions set the stage for a very nostalgic culture. Furthermore, the main events of the last twenty years have contributed to experiencing that sensation that navigates between sadness and pleasure. From 9/11, the Great Recession of 2008, the COVID-19 pandemic, intensifying climate change, and recent political turmoil, each of these events challenged the sense of security and control, prompting us to seek solace in the past. which is always true and already complete.

Greater well-being

Nostalgia has been explored in psychology and research suggests that it may be a self-regulation device that is activated by stress and anxiety. This nostalgic feeling helps combat negative affective states and improves well-being, social connection, and perceptions of the meaning of life. While critics warn against being stuck in the past, nostalgia serves as an important source of comfort and can even be mobilized as a force for positive change.

Nostalgia and consumers today

The tendency of recent generations to cling to the subcultures and pop cultural artifacts of previous generations is its own kind of generational nostalgia. Aside from the appeal of visual aesthetics, the answer to why we gravitate toward certain eras lies in an aspiration toward certain attitudes or values ​​held by previous generations. The Internet has given access to an infinite archive of nostalgic aesthetics to consume. Understanding the ebb and flow of generational nostalgia is crucial to understanding the sentiments of today's consumers.
  • Nostalgia for the 1960s and 1970s, which has remained constant throughout the 21st century, dates back to the countercultural movement of the time, known for its bold optimism toward a utopian future. These sentiments are echoed in today's widespread activist mindset, but some attempts to mobilize in ways similar to those of the 1960s have been slowed by the current climate of political polarization.
  • '80s and '90s nostalgia defined the 2010s and returned in the early 2020s, with the rise of Y2K aesthetics and playing into early childhood youth stereotypes associated with political indifference and apathy.
  • The return of Y2K style signals a longing for a time when social consciousness had not yet become social pressure.
  • In the early 2020s we also started to see a resurgence of pop-punk and emo. In particular, emotionally charged rebellious subcultures like '70s punk, '90s grunge, and '00s emo hold a mirror to Gen Z's own mental health struggles and disappointment with social and economic systems.