Why We Sometimes See Our Era As The ‘Good Old Days’

Why We Sometimes See Our Era As The ‘Good Old Days’

You’ve probably heard your parents or grandparents say every once in a while, that something or everything was better their day. Well, hold on a minute. Don’t roll your eyes at them yet. They could be onto something. It’s not that their lives were better in their era, but that every generation goes through a rise and fall. Everything in terms of culture, technology, sports, politics, art, music, and movies, is improved in every generation. Thus, when they were young and enjoying things their own parents never got to experience, they feel like they’re on top of the world. Now that they’re older, they wish they could still be on top of the world and living in that era. It’s not so much arrogance than it is nostalgia. One day, you might be saying to your children that something or everything was better in your day. But why do we say this?


Technological revolution


Think back to the early 2000s, did you ever think that before 2020, we would have pocket rocket computers? We have smartphones that can fit inside our back pockets, that can play videos, provide us with satellite navigation, we can pay for meals at restaurants with just a swipe, we can record video and take 4K photographs. It’s really quite a remarkable technological revolution we’re going through. And now, electric-power automated self-driving cars are coming online. The reason why we bathe ourselves in nostalgia when we’re old and tired is that we like to think we were the pioneering generation. But your parents or grandparents, lived through the birth of global commercial aviation, electric household appliances began appearing and better television sets were being made every other year. The things we take for granted now were revolutionary back then.



The classic cultural moments


Remember a time when you were wondering about something in your culture and then it happened? You might have thought, will we ever get all-electric powered cars in 2001 and now, they’re here. These cultural moments whereby you experience something you guessed might happen is a form of ‘reliving a revolutionary moment’. If you read these 50s sayings, you’ll see the exact same kind of thing. “Will we ever get television in our part of the country” is just one of the sayings that your parents or grandparents might have said. The price of cigarettes, minimum wage, Marilyn Monroe and many other cultural moments from the past are mentioned here. Show this to your grandparents and see if they remember hearing or saying these things. You’ll be surprised at how relatable to your own era, their experiences might be.


Change is good?


Many people believe that change is good. But when we get older, our cognitive skills decrease and thus, the world seems a little strange and unfamiliar to us. That’s one of the strongest reasons why we reminisce and hark back to the good old days where we feel most comfortable in our minds.


The next time you hear an older person talk about how their era and generation were the best, don’t roll your eyes so readily. One day, you might be that old person. 


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