There are things you missed out on by being born in recent decades.
It might not be something that a lot of folks think about that often, but a lot of us did miss out on a few trends and changes over the years simply by being born in later decades. You might find yourself asking ‘so what’ since you can look up all this stuff on Google and experience it from afar, right? You might even think that it can be recreated and offer up the same kind of experience that it did back when these trends were just becoming popular. But the truth of it is that you won’t find the same experience as those who were alive when said trends became popular. It’s not an elitist or exclusive type of experience that anyone is going to lord over another person by any means. It’s a simple bit of recognition that allows people who grew up in different decades to state that they remember, back in the day, when the trends we see as old school were brand new and hadn’t been seen yet.
That feeling of being there when something new is on the horizon, and when it first comes to the public, is something that a person can’t really get more than once since, by the time one comes around to it, most everyone else that’s been around has experienced it. In other words, it’s new to you, but the rest of the world has moved on and deemed that the trend is still worth recognizing, but isn’t quite as important as others want to think it is. That sounds kind of dismissive, doesn’t it? The fact is that it’s the truth, as people don’t care too much about everything that used to be a trend that would go on to help define a decade. Nostalgia is a great way to keep some trends alive, but it works on the premise that something was popular in the first place, not that it’s brand new and hasn’t been seen before. Have you ever noticed older folks grinning knowingly when taking note of younger people embracing styles, fashions, and trends that they saw come to prominence so long ago? We’ve seen it, we lived through it, and we likely embraced the same trends when they first came around.
That’s why some of us shake our heads at the trends that have started to come around again as young people pick them up and decide to push them again. In some cases, the trends that were popular back in our day are still a fun and engaging memory of times when a lot of people thought they were on the cutting edge and were willing to ride it out until the bitter end. But seeing younger folks, who have no memory of when these trends first came out, pick them up and start to extoll their virtues once again, or marvel at the idea that such things could have been popular in the first place, is rather comical at times and kind of heartwarming at others, depending on the trend. Seriously, some trends were rather silly as we look at them now, but back in their day, they made a lot more sense, right?
Let’s take a look at just a few of the trends that were a big thing back in the day.
The 70s appeared so simple by comparison, in some ways.
Looking back at the 70s it’s kind of funny to think of some of the trends that people embraced and how popular they became. Having been born in the latest part of the decade I can’t say I ever embraced any of these things, but it’s still interesting to think that this is the decade I belong to since the fashion, the technology, and yes, the novelty items that were put out for purchase were kind of…well, strange. The Pet Rock is one of the strangest items ever marketed, not because it was anything other than what it appeared to be, but because people went absolutely nuts for it, even if it was only for a little while. The Pet Rock was more of a fad than a trend since its popularity only lasted between 1975 and 19976, but it netted the guy who came up with the idea well over a million dollars. People look back at this now and think that it’s one of the silliest ideas ever pushed, and they’re kind of right. But at the time, it was one of the most popular ideas around.
The 80s slowly shook off the groove and started developing a lot of attitude.
In more than one way, the 80s started flexing as things changed and the general attitude that America felt was that big and buff was the way to go, and bold and aggressive started becoming what people wanted in just about everything. Granted, it wasn’t the only way to go, but this decade made it clear that being tough and being able to prove it in one manner or another was socially acceptable. Of course, this would spawn a great number of ways to show the absolute toughness that was on display, such as movies, TV shows, and of course, merchandise. While it wasn’t a universal belief, the 80s was a decade in which being tough was THE thing to be a lot of times, and if you weren’t tough, well then you had to get tough. I know, it’s an over-generalization of how things were back then, but the fact is that being physically and mentally tough was important in this decade, while being spiritually tough was a close second, while emotional toughness wasn’t always as important. Boy, did that change when the 90s rolled around.
The 90s had a habit of being compact and a little to smart sometimes.
In a lot of ways, the 90s appeared to be a trimmed-down and better-educated version of the 80s. that sounds odd, doesn’t it? It could have something to do with the idea that technology was advancing in a big way and because people were taking a new look at their lives and figuring out that the way things had been done in the past wasn’t working quite as well. A lot of people these days wonder when folks started to become so sensitive about everything, and this could be the decade when the idea of being offended by everything was taking root. It wasn’t quite as noticeable since we were still dazzled by new technology, like always, and because we were exploring our emotions in different ways, as the more aggressive mentality that people had lived with was starting to change in a big way. The 90s stands out as its own decade in a lot of ways, but it still feels like a transitory period that was slowly but surely leading to the manner in which we now view the world.
The 2000s came along and made it clear that innovation was alive and well.
It almost feels as though humanity is on the verge of something that might be called self-realization when one or more new advances in technology would come out, or something would happen in society that would distract people from figuring out a new way to live or a new way to move forward as a species. It sounds a little ridiculous, but the technology we have at this time and the many different directions we’ve been given to look by the internet appear to be little more than control devices that are there to keep people compliant and easily distracted…hell, I don’t know, see past whatever smoke screen the people in charge are keeping up for their own reasons? Conspiracy theories are nothing new, but they’ve been growing for a while now, and the 2000s were just as full of them as any decade. But in the era of the internet, which exploded into being in the 90s and even more in the 2000s, people ceased to care as much since there was so much to look at from the comfort of your own home.
Some trends lasted a few decades.
This is a rather funny and familiar image, at least to those of us that knew what it was like to struggle with rewinding the tape within a cassette, right? These days, a lot of kids have no idea what the tape is and why a pencil is often placed next to one in pictures. Ask a kid today what a VHS tape is and there’s a percentage chance they’ll know, and that they’ll know what a VCR is, but not a great one. This is rather common since there are devices out there that were believed to be good ideas from sixty to a hundred years ago that a lot of us don’t recognize. These though, a lot of this stuff is just a quick Google search away, but despite having that knowledge at their fingertips, kids and young folks won’t know what it was like back in that day when what they were looking at was common and even brand new. Is it sad? Nah, not really, it’s just a little amusing to be certain, especially when the kids and young folks of today look genuinely confused that a lot of us grew up with these ‘oddities’.
From the 80s onward, computers have dominated in many ways.
It sounds a little too simple to think that computers have had so much to do with why things have changed this much, doesn’t it? Do me a favor then and try to remember a time when the internet wasn’t around. How did we entertain ourselves? How did we function? What did we do, and how did we live before the internet became such a huge thing? A lot of us didn’t know much of anything about the world outside of our sphere of influence apart from the stories and rumors that we were told about anywhere further than our own state. Remember those days? Some might call it a closed-off existence, but in a lot of ways, it was simpler than what we have now. Changes happen, and the fact is that each new generation is going to look back and wonder how generations before them lived without certain things that are common today. It’s a phenomenon that’s not going to stop so long as humanity keeps moving forward, but keep this in mind. Those who want to chide their elders for not understanding the current technology and ways of life? Your elders were the ones who taught you how to use a spoon back in the day, haha, so don’t go thinking you’re that special.
In all seriousness though, each generation is bound to look back at some point and wonder how the generations before them lived with one trend or another. It’s easy to wonder how people lived without the things that are common today, but it happened. It’s going to keep happening, so enjoy the innovation while it’s here, and understand that one day, the next few generations will wonder how we got by with what we have today. Feel old yet? Don’t worry, it’ll come, just enjoy it.
WTR? (Why’s That Radass?)
Every generation is going to marvel at those that came before them and how they survived with the tools they had. The trick however is to remember that the generations that came before us found ways to survive and thrive so that we could reach our current place in the world. It’s fun to look back sometimes and see what came before, and how it inspired the way we live now. But it’s wise to respect the innovations that led us to this point, especially since a lot of us missed out on some of the hardships by being born into later decades.