“ Friends, ” Fleetwood Mac and the viral comfort of nostalgia

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I have one habit that I don’t want to break. Every night, long after my husband isn’t snoring so quietly next to me, I turn on the TV and laugh at the antics of Monica, Chandler, Joey, Ross and Rachel. friends—Must see television from two decades ago. Even though I’ve probably seen each episode a hundred times, it seems like it’s the only movement that puts me to sleep and stops the nervous whirring in my mind.

What is really going on?

“You and a lot of people I talk to do the same thing watching friends», Says Emily Anhalt, clinical psychologist and co-founder of Coa, the world’s first gym for mental health. “During chaos, we look for familiarity – that’s why a lot of us watch our favorite TV shows over and over again instead of starting a new show. You know what’s going to happen and you don’t have to worry about whether the show will be good or if it will bother you. I also think bring back the music from the past is one way people deal with the instability of our world.

In a recent study, researchers found that nostalgia can help fight feelings of loneliness, and another study showed that it helped increase psychological health.

This could explain the last multigenerational interest in the song “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. When Nathan Apodaca (known on TikTok as @ 420doggface208) filmed himself skateboarding in the street on “Dreams”, while drinking a huge bottle of Ocean Spray cane-raspberry juice, the song quickly rose to number one on iTunes, a place the band hadn’t occupied since the song’s original release in 1977. The track has since been listened to more than 230 million times on streaming services, social media and American radio. But something else has arisen from this phenomenon. According to Warner Music Group, “Dreams” was extremely popular with young people, showing a 314 percent increase in Spotify’s average daily streams from 23 to 27, and a 245 percent increase from 18 to 22 since the Apodaca video released.

Grant McCracken, cultural anthropologist and author who has consulted for Netflix, Google and Sony, among others, says that the appeal of social media and TikTok affects all generations today. “People used to make their vital connections to pop culture as a teenager and stay current until their thirties when they started moving away from it, which was accepted as part of of growth and aging. But according to McCracken, the game has changed. “People these days need to stay in touch with the vitality of popular culture to stay relevant in their professional lives. At the same time, we are much more attached to the moment than before.

Indulge in the mystical reveries of Stevie Nicks, as brilliantly arranged by the guitarist of Fleetwood Mac Lindsey Buckingham remind us of a sweeter time and Generation Z’s hope for a brighter world?

Anhalt thinks this is true. “I think young people have to imagine something better for themselves than what is prescribed for them, because they will live a long time in the world.”

“Young people are nostalgic for something they have never encountered,” says Art Swift, professor of communications and political science at American University and host of the pop culture podcast The Nexus with Art Swift. “It’s a burning desire to revisit a moment in their history class or memories of their parents that was a time of national pride, free from terrorism and economic collapse.

“If you had asked me five years ago who my freshman roommates would be, I would never have told you my parents,” says Ava McDonald, 19, Founder and CEO of Zfluence, which connects influential Gen Z aged 16 to 25 with the brands they love. “We’ve talked a lot about what their college experience was like and what it was like growing up, and they reassure me that I’ll end up being on campus and creating my own memories. Guess maybe I’m trying to live vicariously through them, because I’m spending a virtual freshman at Georgetown University. “Dreams” is a great song, a song that was shared thanks to the power of TikTok, a major player in the digital space. For my generation, it will always remind us of our bond with parents and grandparents during this pivotal time in our lives.

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