Notions of Nostalgia

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After some time away, there is no feeling like coming back to your old favorite book, movie, song, television show or video game from years prior. Nostalgia is a powerful force in our minds, but it is also a powerful force in entertainment.

How Nostalgia Works

In an interview with the American Psychological Association, Dr. Krystine Batcho, a licensed psychologist and psychology professor, discussed nostalgia.

“Nostalgia by motivating us to remember the past in our own life helps to unite us to that authentic self and remind us of who we have been and then compare that to who we feel we are today.”

says Dr. Batcho

A 2012 study found that feelings of nostalgia can actually relieve discomfort, physical and mental and make you feel warm: “Nostalgia serves a homeostatic function, allowing the mental simulation of previously enjoyed states, including states of bodily comfort; in this case making us feel warmer or increasing our tolerance of cold. More research is now needed to see if nostalgia can combat other forms of physical discomfort, besides low temperature.”

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Today, people’s lives are constantly changing. Technology is advancing rapidly and things around the world change day by day. The feeling of uncertainty that the pandemic brought has continued to persist. Nostalgia

“When things start to change, either very substantially, such as major events in a person’s life, getting married or getting divorced, getting a new career, going back to school or graduating from school, it’s comforting to have a nostalgic feeling for the past that reminds us that although we don’t know what the future is going to bring, what we do know is that we know who we have been and who we really are,” Batcho says.

Nostalgia comforts people, especially when they endure something difficult or challenging like change because nostalgic feelings allow people to yearn for the simpler past. A lot of people may feel nostalgic about their childhood because they did not have as many responsibilities to fulfill. Furthermore, remembering how we endured change in the past strengthens people to pursue change in the future with open arms.

“It’s a very comforting emotion. It also brings back; it stimulates memories of the times when we were accepted and loved unconditionally.”

says Dr. Batcho
Nostalgia in Entertainment

So, why are people drawn to reboots, reruns and rewatching? Professor Daniel Herbert from the University of Michigan co-edited a book called “Film Reboots,” and answered questions about the power of nostalgia when it comes to reboots.

“The reboot is a careful negotiation between media makers and audiences that, yes, we’ll be seeing the same ideas, but we all agree that it will be new enough to be good,” Herbert says.

When television shows make reboots, they let people fall back in love with those characters. If your favorite television show character as a child was also a child, watching them grow up in a reboot like “Fuller House” brings you back to the time you spent watching them as a child and comforts you that they have grown up too.

“There is obviously the nostalgia of the experience of watching a character you know or seeing what has happened to them since you last left them,” he says.

Check out some reboots coming in 2022 like “Lightyear,” a “Toy Story” franchise reboot, “Cheaper by the Dozen,” “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” “The Lord of the Rings,” “Grease” and more.

Nostalgia Marketing

According to Square Up, “Nostalgia marketing is about connecting your brand with positive concepts or ideas from the past. The goal is to associate your brand with the feelings of comfort and security that are triggered by those ideas.”

Nostalgia marketing is a tactic that companies use to market their content or products. For example, you might click on a BuzzFeed article like “How Many Of These 2000s ‘Hot Girl’ Trends Did You Follow?” because you grew up in the 2000s and want to reminisce on that time. If nostalgia makes you feel good, take some time to get lost in a reverie about the good old days when all you wanted was an Easy-Bake Oven.

According to Patient, “Films can also create nostalgia if you have special memories attached to certain titles. Perhaps you watched them as a child and re-watching them as an adult helps you reminisce about times gone by.”

So, VALLEY, go forth and embrace your nostalgic side. Turn up those throwback jams and tweet @VALLEYmag the song, movie or television show that makes you feel nostalgic.


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