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The priority of other aspects shift as we age. For example, whereas toys are among the things most missed by children and teens 4 to 21 years old , childhood toys are among the things least missed by adults 34 years and older. By contrast, the music of our past is not deeply missed until later in life 34 years and older. For the most part, the expensive gift that once made us ecstatic is not what we want now.
We wish we could take that walk through the woods with Mom, Dad or our brothers and sisters again. We miss sitting around the family table and sharing stories, jokes or memories far more than expensive toys or presents. Research suggests that if a time machine were possible many people would want to visit the time when they were young. When we reminisce nostalgically, we want to bring the best of our past into our present. If we could travel back in time, we would want to visit with those we loved and lost, but how could we bear to leave them behind and lose them yet again?
We would love to restore to our lives now the best of our past—those we loved, our family, being able to do the activities we once did, the way people were, our innocence in not knowing sad or evil things, and not having to worry. Childhood reflects the enduring desire for the ideal—life without cruelty, suffering, betrayal, or loss. As children we experienced life replete with possibilities, with dreams full of hope and promise and the freedom to enjoy being a son or daughter, grandchild, sibling or niece or nephew without conditions.
Nostalgic reverie is like a mental time machine. We can indulge in reflection on the ideal from the vantage point of childhood. From our contemplation of the best of our past we can find what we should now retain, restore, and rebuild. Disney movies still appeal to us, because we yearn for the magic of the victory of good over evil, the ability to destroy boundaries and explore without limits.
We don't want to return to our past; we want our past to return to us.
Batcho, K. Nostalgia Inventory. App for iPhone and iPad. Okechukwu, U. Journal of Happiness Studies , 12 4 , Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity , and the Arts, 2, Personal nostalgia, world view, memory , and emotionality. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 80 , I've often wondered about this topic and how it may relate to people who have not had picture-perfect pasts, but whom seem to get nostalgic for their childhoods or past lives regardless.
Is this due to the fact that people just grow comfortable with whatever they're familiar with? Even if that reality is not very pleasant? Think about the movie Shawshank Redemption, where the old librarian-inmate is released from prison after many decades, and actually longs for his old life in prison because that had become his "home". You make an interesting and important observation. Research suggests that nostalgia stems at least in part from the need for affiliation. When a person is uprooted or displaced, their sense of belonging in a community can be threatened or diminished.
In such cases, nostalgia helps to preserve the feeling of being socially connected. Your example of the inmate released from prison after decades illustrates such a situation. Other examples are people displaced from their home countries during war or even students away from home for the first time. Once people develop new social networks the intensity of longing for the past home often weakens or becomes relegated to select trigger occasions such as anniversaries.
Some research suggests that nostalgia is also associated with more favorable perceptions of one's childhood. How a person thinks about the past can be as important as the actual attributes of that past. While we were spared lots of bad content thanks to gatekeepers like TV stations and movie studios, even back then we learned the habit of watching TV early on. Few of us manage to stop there, but a regular, contained TV habit can actually have benefits.
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Besides its educational value , not just for children, TV can act as a stress reliever. A sort of vault you can disappear into for a while and return with fresh, if tired, eyes. Supplementary analyses suggest that it is the social nature of this familiar fictional world that contributes to restoration. If you and your friends all follow the same show, you also have something to talk about when you leave the surrogate world and go back outside.
Your favorite characters may even inspire you to take an important, but scary next step in your life. Going to see Thor 3 on Friday night after finishing the previous post in this series felt like a good reward.
I laughed, dove into a different world and emerged inspired. One of my earliest, most memorable binges happened while I was interning in England with a friend. Our host had a Sky account, so every night for ten days , we watched the evening marathon, a four-hour mix of Simpsons, Family Guy and Futurama episodes. We laughed a lot, but we also felt tired and foggy afterwards. When was your first binge? Try to find that moment in your memory.
Were you a teenager? There is a phase of aging we all go through that is the perfect opportunity for binge-watching to strike. Via psychologist Carl Pickhardt :. Rebellion occurs repeatedly in our lives, anywhere from age 9 to Thinking everyone is against us and with not much to do, where do we turn? To fictional worlds. This is when Netflix and Youtube can most successfully work their hot-wiring magic on our brains. And boy, do they.
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Teenagers are in rehab right this second because of this deliberate, mental manipulation. Once work takes up most of our time, we have a lot of better things to tend to.
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In theory, that is. But somehow, the habit has taken hold. In his research at Temple University , Emil Steiner identified six motivations for binge-watching:. Often, quite the opposite happens. Post-binge-watching blues is real, a study from the University of Toledo confirms:. We must be careful not to mix causation and correlation here, but other side effects include more aggression and less verbal ability. The University of Texas found more connections to depression, loneliness, self-regulation deficiency, and obesity. You fumble around the couch.
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Under a pillow, you can feel your phone. Ah, a scene cut. But today is not Friday. You press pause. Exhausted, you sit back on the couch and drop the remote. As you slowly emerge from your 2-day TV show bender, a question emerges from the sidelines of your mind. It slowly moves into the frame, until it gets bigger and bigger, taking more and more space. Binge-watching was the word of the year in It does have its benefits, like the ones we talked about earlier.
We moved in together two years ago and then eventually Adam, photographer and creative guy, moved in, and then Clark, my manager, moved in. Everyone lives in that house now, and I think through the community that was built around this house and creating, [the album] just became a product of [it]. My friends are the cornerstone of Dreamer Boy.
Like, they can go on tour, make an album, or whatever. I think long story short, the friendship and the bond between the people who are working on this project is the most important.