What is decade drift©?

What happens when someone’s nostalgia influences their perceptions and/or memories of a decade? “Decade drift” is a name I like to use that refers to this concept. When someone is under the spell of this phenomenon, their perceptions of any given decade can deviate pleasantly from established reality. For instance, when one thinks of the 90’s, their ideas of the decade can expand to include people, things, or other phenomena that come slightly before or slightly after the decade in question (years “drifting” into each other).

But time is just one factor in this concept. The mental experience of decade drift allows for nostalgia to bolster perceptions of a decade in other ways. For instance, it’s possible to associate a decade with specific environments, color palettes, feelings, media coverage, widespread economic conditions, or just a general “atmosphere.” It’s highly dependent on the individual.

Nostalgia might surface during particularly trying times, offering a rose-tinted view of a specific decade while in some ways preserving harsh narratives in the subconscious that originally inspired the desire for escapism.

Another aspect under this concept is that decades will have various attitudes towards isolationism which then interact with those rose-tinted lenses. With some decades you might see eurocentric or american-centric attitudes to greater or lesser degrees. Some of these decades will be looked upon more favorably because of their entrenched centrisms, which offer customized outlets for the practice of nostalgia.

Finally, I consider decade drift to be an ongoing concept. It is designed to implement other thoughts and ideas that might complement it in the future.


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