The 2010’s were less than a decade ago but still Gen Z and younger millennials aresuper nostalgic for the not-so-distant pastthat define their teen years. The hashtag #2014 has over 1 billion views on TikTok, while #2016 has over 2-billion! The “2010s nostalgia” search has over 731-million views.
While nostalgia usually kicks in after more than a decade has passed, there is an explanation as to why 20 somethings are missing their teen years so much already and yes, it has everything to do with the pandemic.
- Stress and uncertainty of coming into adulthood in the middle of a pandemic: Trying to figure out how to “adult” is already stressful enough but doing it while also navigating a global pandemic? Forget about it! When people are stressed and are facing uncertainty, they long for times of the past when this stress didn’t exist.
- Perception of time has been warped. We’re already looking back on some moments that were less than six years ago. For some, the pandemic has felt way longer than almost two years and there’s a “psychological distance” that could’ve been disrupted because of the stress and trauma.
- It’s comforting and a form of escapism. Gen Z is nostalgic for their own childhood because childhood is “a time when we were loved just for being alive, when we didn’t have to prove ourselves.” Many of us would agree that we’re glad to be adults now but we do miss the innocence and carefreeness of being a kid.