The Past Is Doomed to Recur…

During middle school, my history teacher used to say ‘The past is doomed to recur!’ all the time. Maybe that was only the case for Turkey because, especially politically, we have been to the same things over and over throughout history so we had a sense of familiarity with the storyline that awaits us. Or maybe this was just a way for us to hold on to the hope of a possible better future, at least in our perspective. Throughout the years, even after years of not seeing my history teacher, I held onto that saying. I always chased a pattern in everything, I explicitly wanted to see or achieve this pattern even in my life. I applied the saying in a broader sense, to life, instead of just limiting it with history or certain countries. 

Trends vs. The Digital World

Photo by me, @ @VelvetVinlyOutlet in Leiden

It feels as if we are going for a war between the trends of today vs. the digital world that awaits us in the future. 

In the world of 2019, we got used to saying that we are moving towards a digital era. An era that contains an immense amount of technology usage since it is possible to use it for basically everything. But also an era that we have mixed feelings for. On one hand, we see a future with advanced health care, education, engineering, problem-solving and all sorts of other possibilities. However, on the other hand, we see a future with diminished human interaction, lack of unique human characteristics and analog work; in a sense, a future that is distant from what we have learned up until now, therefore, scary. 

Aside from all the confusion about the good deed (?) of a digital future, there are certain trends that lead us today via social and overall digital media. We see from our surroundings and social media that there is an increase in vintage demand in multiple domains. The good old cars, records, cassettes, typewriters, polaroid cameras, and even letters are making a turn back. Even though we have the best technology digital cameras that have great storage capacity, electric cars, Soundcloud or Google Drive today; it seems like they don’t substitute for the nostalgia and analog experience that we can get from the vintage versions of the same products. 

Maybe it is because of the sense of belonging and social support we get from using nostalgic products, the social conformity of following the current trends, or simply the experience but from where I stand, it seems like the trends are ‘1’ and the digital world is ‘0’ for the time being.

Maybe, the past is really doomed to recur?

Maybe my teacher was right. Maybe after a few years, we are going to switch places with our parents/grandparents who are looking at the trends now and saying ‘ This was popular during my youth, I wish I haven’t given it away.’.

I am sure the technology will continue to develop as well, however, the past will be accompanying it from the opposite side of the road. There will be options both from the past and the future for consumption, just as there are today. Our needs, domains of such goods and the trends of the day will play a role in the decision. However, in any case, we will be reliving today at some point in the future. Maybe we will be older, the environment and the world around us will be different, but we will recognize somethings.