FEATURE7 February 2018

Rose-tinted tech

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Technology is allowing people to connect with the past in exciting ways, with a whole host of nostalgia experiences designed to rekindle memories and help us discover history, writes Katie McQuater.

Nostalgia - VR My House Sarah Rothberg_crop

Memory Place: My House’ by Sarah Rothberg.

Nostalgia has become a tool of engagement for tech platforms, brands and entertainment companies. If nostalgia is an ache for the past, technology is reminding us of that ache – and, in some cases, administering a psychological salve. One need only look to the success of Stranger Things, the Netflix original show set in the 1980s and filled to the brim with references to the decade, as evidence of our modern-day fascination with looking back. The second season averaged 15.8m viewers, in possibly the most mainstream manifestation of the nostalgia trend.

Our smartphones are peppered with the past, with features such as Facebook’s ‘On This Day’ and the iPhone’s Memories reminding us of historical events – whether we like it or not. As more and more of our lives are played out online, so too are they committed to digital memory, to reappear in two, five, 10 years’ time.