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Looking back too much or nostalgia in recent times

Updated on July 22, 2014
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What is nostalgia?

According to Oxford dictionaries it is "a sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past". One of the hardest things to do in life is probably letting go of the past, especially when we made such beautiful memories during those moments.

Nostalgia can be "triggered", in a manner of speaking in a variety of different ways. What makes you nostalgic for example? Is it old movies, a cartoon series from your childhood, old video games, books, looking at certain kind of pictures? People are different, so it all depends on the person. Up next, we'll analyze why we like looking back and some main nostalgia "triggers".





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High nostalgia factor

Which of these things can trigger your nostalgia much faster?

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Why do we love looking back?

Simple, we look back because we like reminiscing on the "good ol' times" when things weren't as complicated as they are now. That is normally the case when one was a child, that is IF one had a good childhood, after all, not everyone likes looking back at those moments. Anyway, we normally like remembering the days when we were just a bunch of kids, only having to worry about seeing our friends, playing outside and video games, watching our favorite cartoons, not getting in trouble and doing homework. When we're children, our attitude is normally a care-free one since, like previously mentioned, our "problems" were very simple ones.

I'm a college student right now, and even though I'm still young, I'm seeing more and more how things change the more you get older, you have to face bigger challenges, things that you've never faced before and that can be scary. Whether it is going to work for the first time, moving out of your parents' house and living on your own and/or paying the bills, it's terrifying the first time doing it. You realize that mom and dad aren't going to help you anymore, you're now truly on your own. It's in those moments when one normally looks back and reminisces how simple things were before all of this. However, one other main thing that I will be covering in this article is how I've been noticing that a lot of people my age and older, especially on the Internet, have taken trips down memory lane perhaps way too much.

Nostalgia factors or triggers

I don't know about you, but this image is an immediate trip down memory lane to me.
I don't know about you, but this image is an immediate trip down memory lane to me. | Source

Video games

If YouTube and the online gaming community has taught me anything, it's that video games are very popular all around the world.

They've existed for quite some time now, thus, it's an immediate nostalgia trigger for 80's and 90's kids. Who can forget those wonderful moments playing for the first time the NES and the Super Nintendo? Without a doubt, those 2 consoles contain some of the most loved games of all-time. Titles like Super Mario Bros. 1-3, Star Fox, Metroid, Ninja Gaiden, Castlevania 1-3, Donkey Kong Country, Mortal Kombat and the list goes on. Thus, gaming, especially old school, has become a favorite hobby to do to pass the time among a lot of people, in fact, thanks to the Internet, it has even become a way to become famous. One main example of that statement is the Angry Video game Nerd. By reviewing old games from many people's childhoods that probably made them frustrated when playing them, or, at times, the opposite, it automatically makes us look back during those moments of gaming when we were children, add to that the fact that he's funny and you've got yourself an Internet celebrity.

I myself still play video games every once in a while and I intend to do so for a long time, after all, I've been a gamer since I was 3 years old back in the mid-90's. The first game I ever played, if my memory isn't lying to me, was Duck Hunt for the NES. The first time I held that Zapper and missed shooting the ducks and saw that dog laughing at me, was the moment in which I became a gamer.

Good times.

Cartoons and anime

I remember back in the late 90's when I was in elementary school and I used to watch cartoons all the time, my favorites were the Ninja Turtles, Reboot, the Power Rangers (I know i's not animation, but I used to watch it all the time back then), Toy Story, just to name a few.

Then suddenly back then, a few friends introduced me to the amazing world of anime. One of the first I remember seeing was Ranma 1/2. I was very thrown off and confused at what I was seeing, I though the animation was strange and different and I was confused as to why the titular character turned into a girl when water touched him and why was he/she fighting a Panda. I then got interested in anime since then and I haven't stopped, especially after seeing the Pokemon anime, which I got interested in seeing due to the original Pokemon Red and Blue versions, I played those all the time in elementary school.

I could go on and on about how I used to watch this and I used to play that and what I did with friends back when the Internet still wasn't the gigantic and global powerhouse it is today. But I think I've proven my point. We all have these kind of anecdotes or memories about when we first saw those cartoons thanks to a friend and when we first played those video games but it happened differently with each person, either way, they're nostalgic memories. But not everything in nostalgia is video games, cartoons or also toys.

Another cartoon I used to watch.

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Family and friendship memories

Like I previously mentioned, nostalgia isn't all about what we used to watch and play. They're also memories about spending the time with the family and all the friendships you've made over the years.

Who doesn't remember Christmas Eve when one is a child? Playing with your cousins, seeing your grandparents, uncles and aunts, eating a big turkey and finally, opening the presents, something that every child looks forward to every Christmas. Playing outside with friends and getting dirty and coming back home when it was getting dark instead of your parents calling you on your cellphone or iPhone and telling you to return home. These kind of memories are even more precious because of the people you've made these moments with. What's even more precious is if you still see these friends even after many years have gone by. I myself am Mexican, and I've made many friends in, not just my home city, but also around the world because I was also an exchange student before I entered college. And I couldn't be more grateful for the family I have and the friends that I've made and still have, with them, I've made some truly happy memories.

Nostalgia in recent times

Now I would like to talk about nostalgia in recent times. Lately, I've been noticing in the Internet, particularly in YouTube, that a lot of users born in the 80's and 90's talk way too much about the good times. That's not a bad thing of course. What is bad, however, is when those people think that everything that's out today is bad and that everything in the 80's and 90's was and is still good. Even though, for example, there's a lot of bad movies, bad music and bad video games coming out recently, that's not entirely the case. There still exists the polar opposite of that, it's just not as abundant as "back then". I've seen this also a lot with video game series. A lot of them are changing and lots of those gamers don't like it and prefer the old ones more, of the top of my head, a few examples are Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid. It's normal to not like change at first, but sometimes these people can't seem to let go of the past. I think I've talked about the entertainment medium in this topic enough, time to talk about more serious things now. We don't like change, I don't like it either and sometimes I want things to go back like they used to be, but it is a normal and necessary part of life. Nothing can remain the same forever, sometimes these changes can bring sorrow to our lives, death of a loved one, a divorce, financial problems, depression, moving to a new city, state or even country, losing a friend, your own death, etc. But these things are also a normal part of life and they're unfortunately things that we can't control and, ironically, things that we cannot change. At least some of these things will happen eventually, and the only thing that we can do about it is to accept them. There's nothing wrong in reminiscing happy memories of the past (pardon the redundancy), but when it comes to a point where you can't let them go and thus can't focus on the present, that's when it becomes a problem. There has to be a balance between the two. Like I had mentioned in the beginning of this hub, one of the hardest things in life is to let go of the past and move forward with your life. But if one keeps living in the past, not only will you lose your place in the present and the people around you, but you'll never be happy. The past was once right now, but not anymore my friend. It's time to let go and keep facing the future changes and challenges that life has in store for you. Only this way will you truly be able to grow and even become a better person. Have a wonderful day and I hope that you enjoyed this hub.

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    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 2 years ago from Auburn, WA

      I think nostaglia has become big business. Old bands still have massive tours. Even Flock of Seagulls showed up at a casino near me recently. But it's not a new phenomenon. When I was a little kid, 50s nostaglia had become huge with the success of Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley and Sha Na Na. I'm interested where the video game nostaglia will go. That is still relatively new. Very interesting take. Voted up.

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