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What’s New In Social Media? Nostalgia, Duh!

By Natalie Bokenham January 5, 2013

For the last few months, I’ve been hit with a daily dose of heart-warming nostalgia, thanks to our friends at Timehop, informing me of my social media life a year ago.

Given the considerable effect this has been having on me, I decided to try and work out what was at play, taking the above Timehop post as an example.

Here are 5 things I deduced from the experience:

1. Accelerated Nostalgia

I’d been instantly reminded of the fact that just one year ago, I was deep into my life in LA, with no thought to how my life is now, living in NY. Goodness, how can time have slipped by so quickly? This was a typical case of “accelerated nostalgia” – the feeling that things happen so fast in our hyper-connected world that what happened a year ago feels like history. SO TRUE!

2. Systematic Nostalgia

Nostalgia is often triggered unexpectedly, by a random experience or event. Curiously, my nostalgic experience had been triggered by an automated email, which meant there was nothing at all serendipitous about the delivery. But that didn’t matter, as the emotion it elicited was just as authentic. My nostalgia had been induced algorithmically. Interesting.

4. Social Nostalgia

A bout of nostalgia can leave you feeling wanting and lonelier than ever, especially as the people you are with at that moment in time typically don’t get it. But in this case I was able to satisfy my momentary feeling of loss simply by clicking “share this” which meant I could relive the moment right then with my dear friends @PhyliaHair, @hardboildwonder and @nhitchps (who on earth…?), who’d know exactly how I was talking about.
I even got some re-tweets and a couple of favorites out of it – that’s a social media WIN.

5. Never-ending Nostalgia

Each day we do stuff on social networks: post messages, check-in or post pictures or videos as we hyper-document our lives, we are producing more and more multimedia memorabilia to be resurfaced in exactly a year’s time. Goodness, I am now getting nostalgic about the nostalgia I will feel about today, this time next year. Not sure what you call that… but I am now plotting some more arty filters on my photos to ensure that the future moment in question is as rose-tinted as possible.

Needless to say, this is powerful stuff that will likely never run dry, as we will never get enough of the material of our own lives, and will welcome new lenses through which to peer in at it.

What are your thoughts on social media nostalgia?

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