by Lory Martinez

A look into how the way we experience nostalgia has been changed and enhanced by the media.



photo courtesy of

Once upon a time the internet had a dial up sound. Phones weren’t cordless and Friday nights were the best nights for TV  I’m talking about our childhoods. Us kids of the 90s have got the first memories of the internet and its advent. Remember floppy disks? Yep.

As we’ve gotten older, websites and tv networks have banked on those memories and have come up with a variety of ways to help us properly remember our favorite decade. From the highly popular 90s rewind block on Nickelodeon’s Nick at Nite to’s running of Nostalgia tidbits and news in its subcategory, “Rewind,” there are tons of ways to look back.

Generations before us had old records, films, photographs in scrapbooks and mixtapes. We’ve got the digital version of these things: Now we’ve got Netflix online streaming of old Disney films we grew up with ( though no doubt some of us stand by our VHS tapes as the only way to watch “The Little Mermaid). We’ve got photostreams on recycler sites like buzzfeed with images of long forgotten copies of “Tigerbeat” and “J14”  whose covers were once graced by the likes of a very young Justin Timberlake and pre-breakdown Britney Spears( who by the way is doing really well now*link). We have instagram and facebook profile photos and our lives are on a running internet yearbook of sorts. Mixtapes became burned CDs and then playlists on Spotify or 8tracks. One of the few things that hasn’t changed is our love of vinyl .

The Nostalgia market has steadily grown over the years and shows no signs of disappearing.  Films that take us back have seen a lot of success with the public, including Oscar winning silent feature, The Artist and Woody Allen’s take on the nostalgia bug, Midnight in Paris. Vintage shops are pretty popular among 20 somethings and of course Macklemore’s ode to the Thrift Shop shows that we just can’t let go of the past. And why should we? It makes up a pretty huge part of our culture and our collective identity today and nothing beats a chat with a group of friends over your favorite shows  from yesteryear.

So here’s to the 90s and looking at the past through our current, modern, technologically improved lenses.