Vintage is Making a Comeback

What is it about old stuff that warms our hearts and keeps bringing us back?

People are buying Walkmans again. Yeah, those old belt-attached cassette players that for the first time in 1979 allowed people to take their favorite music wherever they went.

People scavenge through yard sales to scarf up DVD’s.

Do you remember the jingle to 1960’s Polaroid Swinger camera commercials? People are bringing those black and white instant photos back into circulation, and teens love them.

What is the appeal of returning to the past?

Dr. Clay Routledge, a North Dakota professor, has made a study of the psychology of nostalgia in the human experience, saying in a Ted Ed lecture that not so long ago a longing for the past was thought to be disease. We’ve grown in our understanding. “By allowing individuals to remember personally meaningful and rewarding experiences, nostalgia can boost psychological well-being.”

It’s a coping mechanism and perhaps the return to those iconic gadgets that informed our technological infancy brings us comfort in the whirlwind of change today. A note to teens: it’s hard to take a selfie on a Polaroid.

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