2016.08.28

“everything on the internet that you cherish is minutes away from becoming over-loved and worn out by millions.” Alex Abad-Santos, “Smooth”: 7 questions about the song you were too embarrassed to ask

This quote makes this article sound like a grumpy rant, but it’s really not. It’s an exploration of “the internet nostalgia machine,” but also why we (especially those of us born after 1980) need nostalgia. We need to believe there was a time better than this.

I’ve gone back and forth on this–wondering why the internet obsesses over the past instead of making new things for the future–because I love remixes and mashups of my favourite stuff from the ’90s. At 35, I cringe when I see plaid shirts and tiny backpacks are already back in style for teenagers, but listening to my favourite high school songs also makes me happy.

Depression is worrying about the past, while anxiety is worrying about the future. Therapy teaches you how to live in the present, but it’s not easy to stay there when present culture is so obsessed with the past, even those who weren’t there.