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Forum » Chew The Fat » What do you think about this theory for why people feel nostalgic?
Superman
A friend of mine on Facebook shared an interesting post that attempted to explain why we feel nostalgic for things from our childhoods. The author of the post argued that we feel nostalgic for our childhoods because our present lives aren't any good.

Personally, I think this is a bit of an overstatement. While I think it's probably true that nostalgia stems from a desire to go back to a simpler time when we didn't have some of the problems we have now, I don't believe a yearning for the past necessarily means our current lives are terrible. What do all of you think about this theory?

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Vaporman87

Nah. That’s crap. Life isn’t worse for me. It’s different. In many ways it’s better. My personal life is at its best. I do think today’s culture sucks in comparison. I think the nostalgia comes from experiencing the first of everything. In our youth everything is new and exciting. Now we feel like there can’t be anything new or good under the sun.

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Superman
Vaporman87 wrote :

Nah. That’s crap. Life isn’t worse for me. It’s different. In many ways it’s better. My personal life is at its best. I do think today’s culture sucks in comparison. I think the nostalgia comes from experiencing the first of everything. In our youth everything is new and exciting. Now we feel like there can’t be anything new or good under the sun.

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I much prefer this theory for the origin of nostalgia. The other one doesn't allow for an explanation for why those with happy lives feel nostalgic, and that leaves out a large group of people since I'd wager that everyone feels a little nostalgia sometimes.
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jkatz
Vaporman nailed it. When you're young and don't know much, the excitement of new experiences combined with more time for enjoyment (less responsibilities, etc.) becomes a powerful memory.
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Based on the era in which he lived, I can safely assume that Seabiscuit was a virulent racist.
shakin steak
The simplest answer is not always best.
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echidna64
Firstly, I think we might have a positive bias through the lens of a child. 

For example, in the movie Monster Squad, Sean's parents are about to get a divorce but the kids are blissfully unaware.  

Secondly, I do think there is an element of escapism. For example, we might long to hangout in a sweet treehouse like in Monster Squad while debating the real name of Frankenstein's monster. 

Third, as human beings the familiar makes us comfortable. That might explain the warm fuzzy feeling when we see things like a Pac-Man easter egg in a movie.  
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ThatDudeintheHoodie
I've been looking into this subject for a while now and in some cases, yeah that's the case. I'm with Vapor on this one. Though there can be numerous reasons for people to be nostalgic. 
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Mr Magic
Nostalgia has a psychological effect. Everytime we think about something nostalgic, we have smiles on our faces.
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Caps 2.0
My life as an adult is far better than my life as a child and teenager, and even life in my 20s. Besides therapy and medication, pop culture, especially my love of the pop culture of the 1980s, is one of the reasons that I was able to survive 21 years of emotional turmoil, from September of 1991 to December of 2012, to become the man I am today.
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