No, You Weren’t “Born in the Wrong Generation”

Reflecting on the memes, ideals, and problems with people believing they belong to the past.

 Since the first commercial vinyl record in 1930, the classic trend of vinyl has continued to resurface in popularity.


Since the first commercial vinyl record in 1930, the classic trend of vinyl has continued to resurface in popularity.

Abby Tucker, Staff Writer

We all likely know someone who has a record player in their room and a collection of “vintage” items. A person who enjoys old books, movies and music and constantly sighs, “I was just born too late.” 

This type of statement, whether from a dreamy teenager, an enthusiastic reenactor, or a book-lover is not uncommon. Usually, it’s followed up with why people wish to live in the past; the fashion, the class, the soda fountains.

Made fun of in memes circulating around the internet, a “generational dysphoria,” as nicknamed, is common in our present day.

The satirical “Le wrong generation” memes usually feature photos of bands or fashion trends from the past compared to modern culture, including captions such as “Wish I grew up with this and not this.” 

Some hold a nostalgic gaze of past decades, unhappy with the current world surrounding them. We are drawn to past times by what they offer.

Saturday morning cartoons, old music, walkmans and cassette tapes, styled hair, rotary phones, vinyl records, polaroid cameras, and neon colors were all linked to childhoods before ours.

My parents describe the previous decades as a different culture, one in which it was easier to roam the streets or hang out with friends growing up without the constant concern for safety.

Decades prior to ours may seem more elegant, proper, and vibrant. However, history is often presented in a way that is biased.

Perhaps Gen Z is viewing the past through rose-colored glasses, longing for the “good old days” of disco, neon colors, and rock-and-roll. When looking at the past, it’s common to only focus on the music, trends and films but not on the societal, racial, or women’s rights issues. 

Throughout the decades, progress has been made in the fight for equal rights in our society. Though we are still far from perfect, we have improved in these aspects over the years.

Oh, the woes of being born in a generation with portable phones, access to any entertainment at almost any time, and 50 different kinds of ice cream to choose from at Walmart. A time in which we are able to purchase an item on Amazon with the lift of a finger, a few clicks on a screen, and to have it appear on our door a few days later.

Today with streaming apps such as Spotify or YouTube, we have the ability to rummage through music and movies and books, receiving entertainment for hours on end and discarding it once we finish. We simply click on the next video, song, or episode.

We live how kings would live at one point in time.

In modern day, however, we face more division, whether it’s due to politics, the internet, or other differing opinions. Every decade has its drawbacks. Though, despite the challenges of modern life, we receive a greater measure of freedom than we would likely have in times prior.

By moving forward in some ways, other things get left behind. As time goes on, we lose traditions, knowledge, connections with others, and skills as they grow obsolete. There’s something fulfilling about enjoying the past and continuing its trends and knowledge.

Nostalgia makes us generally feel that life has more meaning, even if it’s for a time that has been romanticized. Reflecting on the past, realistically or not, can allow us to get a broader perspective and make sense of our experience; however, we need to recognize the problems in both the past and present.

There isn’t anything wrong with appreciating older styles in pop culture as long as we look back at these times realistically, recognizing their issues. However, despite its setbacks, people from every walk of life can take comfort in the past’s simplicity.