Generation Z: 20 years old and already nostalgic

Generation Z: 20 years old and already nostalgic

Nostalgia is not what it used to be…

Today, like his elders, a 20-year-old can feel overwhelmed by his times and regret the time of his childhood which rhymes with carelessness. “I feel nostalgic for a time when we only thought about playing games and watching cartoons, we had no problems in life, no exams. From the third year onwards, you have to make choices for your future even though most of you have no idea,” says Adam, 19, a tourism student.

The boy remembers his childhood in the 2000s and 2010s where he exchanged Pokémon cards at recess, where he played Oofballs, these miniature balls found in cereal packets, where the French team won the Football World Cup (in 2018, it already seems so far away). It was also the time when YouTubers Norman, Cyprien, Squeezie replaced television, with schoolboy jokes and videos filmed in their rooms.

Now on the sidelines, Norman is accused of sexual violence against minors. As for YouTube, “it has become a buzz machine, you have to get the most views to bring in money. Ten years ago it seemed simpler,” regrets Adam, on the verge of saying “it was better before”.

The impression of an acceleration of time and a loss of authenticity is taking hold among Generation Z (those aged 18-25), who nevertheless grew up with technology. “Thanks to the mobile phone, we send each other messages and emojis, except that it creates virtual links, less authentic than a real meeting,” regrets Juliette, 20 years old, psychology student. And we save time because we don’t have to travel, but this ease locks us into our homes. We realize that innovations are ultimately not as beneficial as we thought. »

The madness of the 2000s

On the social network Instagram, the abbreviation Y2K (for Year two thousand, or “year 2000” in English) brings together 6 million publications celebrating the colorful outfits and makeup of the stars of the time, Britney Spears or Paris Hilton. This craze continues in the real world. Since 2021, several cities in France have hosted flea markets on the theme of 2000s fashion.

A notion of authenticity and candor is attached to this period, far from the cynicism of influencers (people with a large following on social networks, Editor’s note) .

In twenty years, a whole world has changed. “We falsely think that memory is a process of conservation, when it is rather a matter of skimming,” explains Basile Viault, advertising executive at the Rosa Paris agency. In nostalgia for the 2000s, we voluntarily forget the September 11 attacks, the war in Iraq, the tsunami in Southeast Asia, influenza A…”

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