While younger generations often seek to distinguish themselves from their predecessors, certain characteristics of the Baby Boomer era are experiencing a revival. Whether it’s the tactile satisfaction of vinyl records or the sustainability of buying secondhand, Millennials and Gen Z find value in traditions that once defined their parents and grandparents. In a nod to the cyclical nature of culture, we explore 18 characteristics witnessing renewed interest among today’s youth.
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Until digital streaming arrived, vinyl records were the soundtrack of Baby Boomer youth. Younger generations are rediscovering vinyl, not just for its nostalgic appeal but also for the depth and richness of its sound quality. Record stores and vinyl listening parties are increasingly popular.
Home cooking has seen a resurgence during the pandemic as people find solace in their kitchens. Millennials and Gen Z, in particular, are turning to family recipes passed down from their Boomer relatives. Social media is full of young people proudly sharing their culinary creations.
Once primarily a hobby of the Boomer generation, gardening is blossoming among Millennials and Gen Z as a way to both relax and connect with nature. Many young people also explore urban gardening and share tips and produce with their communities.
Thrift shopping is enjoying renewed attention, especially among younger people who prioritize sustainability and unique fashion finds. Vintage shops and online secondhand platforms enable this generation to discover the value and charm Boomers saw in pre-owned items.
Reading Print Newspapers
Despite the convenience of online news, the experience of flipping through a physical newspaper is gaining appreciation among younger generations. Print journalism, once a staple in Boomer households, finds a new audience who value the depth and layout of traditional formats.
Handwritten letters are returning as a cherished form of communication. Especially among Millennials and Gen Z, the personal touch, effort, and sentimental value of penning a letter is being recognized as something special and meaningful.
Younger generations are not just limiting their activism to online spaces. Following the civic-minded footsteps of Boomers, Millennials and Gen Z actively engage in local government, community events, and volunteer activities.
DIY Home Repairs
The “do-it-yourself” ethos prevalent among Boomers is making a comeback in the age of YouTube tutorials. Instead of calling a professional, many young people now find satisfaction and savings in handling home repairs themselves.
In contrast to video games and virtual reality, board games are experiencing a renaissance. The interpersonal interactions and tangible elements of board games offer a different kind of entertainment reminiscent of family game nights that Boomers often enjoyed.
The pandemic has underscored the importance of family bonds, and younger generations are now putting more effort into organizing and cherishing family gatherings. These occasions echo the strong family traditions that many Boomers grew up valuing.
Younger generations are increasingly interested in outdoor activities, from hiking and camping to kayaking. This revival is often framed as a break from screen time, mirroring the simpler, tech-free outdoor activities Boomers once enjoyed.
Knitting and Sewing
Crafts such as knitting and sewing are shaking off their old-fashioned image. Inspired by sustainability and creativity, many young people are turning to these crafts as a form of self-expression, much like their Boomer relatives did.
Personal responsibility, particularly in financial matters and household management, is a trait making a comeback. Young people are becoming more attentive to budgeting, investing, and self-care, values Boomers have long espoused.
Despite being digital natives, Millennials and Gen Z increasingly value face-to-face communication. From social gatherings to professional settings, the nuances and intimacy of in-person interaction are being reevaluated and treasured.
Skepticism Toward Technology
Younger generations are becoming more mindful of technology’s role in their lives, scrutinizing its impact on mental health, relationships, and society. This critical approach aligns with many Boomers’ skepticism toward rapid technological changes.
Saving and Investing
Millennials and Gen Z are becoming more investment-savvy, often seeking advice from Boomer family members with a lifetime of financial experience. Retirement funds and stock portfolios are becoming a norm among young adults.
Although economic challenges have made homeownership difficult for many young people, the aspiration remains strong. The stability and independence associated with owning a home continue to be a shared dream across generations, reflecting Boomer ideals.
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