Welcome to our second installment of Social Changes! Just as a recap, the only way we experience revival in trends and traditions is after social changes motivate us to reflect on our lives. So, in honor of all the changes that bring us to our lives today, we decided to write about all the major eras of mass movements in 20th century America.
This week, we will be focusing on Y2K! There were technology advances and smooth lines, energy efficiency and even a new subculture-gaining-momentum. How can you possibly come up with so much new stuff without somehow having a retro counterpart? In fact, while iPods and shiny new cars all seem like brand-new concepts, the actual technology boom itself already happened in the same fashion once before. Subcultures like Steampunk and Grunge (yes, even grunge) emerge the same way that flappers and beatniks once did to challenge the mainstream culture of each respective era.
So regarding Y2K: Lots of things were bubbling over. The internet itself was becoming more and more popular and less and less dial-up. Technology and media were entering a surplus situation where users experienced mass web accessibility. Anyone could get online and use a search engine to find information on almost anything. Ironically, while the internet itself was a new commodity for the public, the idea of mass media distribution was also a plagiarized idea from the moment in history where the printing press was made for commercial use.
The idea of countercultures or subcultures within a larger society wasn’t new either. In fact, for every mainstream group, there will be individuals who prefer unique living. Countless comparisons exist throughout the greater part of history broadly. For the earlier segment of the 1900s, this included the beatniks (predecessors of the hippies), flappers that challenged conservative views, hippies that challenged pretty much every aspect of traditional lifestyles in America, and so forth. But, we will get there. Steampunk and Grunge countercultures were just the popular nonconformist trends of the 2000 decade. Their overall tastes were in dark, rock n’ roll styles and later-emerging Steampunk features Victorian derivations and intricate designs in a punk-rock fusion.
The 2000 decade was also known for change in that the protests continued for environmental protection, saving whales, and the drive began building for a later Occupy Wall Street as the minimum wage began to rise by minimum increments. Protests also evolved to include members through invitations on social media platforms, making the turnout for these events exponentially larger. Take, for instance, the women’s march on Washington as being one of the recent examples of this evolution. The showing of people for such the event outnumbered those who attended the presidential inauguration of 2017. The effect of mass media onto protests also made their efforts (the earliest of their kind being in the early to mid-2000s) more available to potential supporters.
Tune in next week for another installment of the Series of Social Change, brought to you by the Retro Revival Blog. Stay curious, darlings!