Remember When You Thought Flip Phones Were Cool?
How To Exploit The Power Of Nostalgia
I opened my eyes and peered at the clock. It showed 4:48 AM. I knew what that meant
“I need you to take me to the airport. Uber won’t be here until 5:26,” my wife said.
“Okay. I’ll be ready in five minutes.”
We packed the car and raced to the airport.
I notice something interesting when I drive this early in the morning. The traffic lights flash yellow or red. They don’t begin their normal behavior — red one side and green, yellow the other — until 6 AM.
The only time I see those flashing lights is when I rush to the airport for an early flight. It’s a rare occurrence.
It always makes me feel nostalgic. Back when I was a sophomore in college, I had an early class. It was on the other side of campus so I had to drive. I’d always go through two intersections that had the flashing traffic lights. It signaled to me that most of the school was still in bed.
Twenty something years later I still think of my sophomore class whenever I see flashing traffic lights.
The Power Of Nostalgia
Somewhere in the confines of my brain, I forever associated flashing traffic lights with my college experience. It brings back fond memories of an earlier time. I know there were struggles. Reminiscing about the past is odd that way. We only remember the good parts.
Here’s another secret about nostalgia. It’s one of the most powerful bonding mechanisms for a writer, storyteller or presenter. It works especially well when you deal with a combative audience or an audience where you share nothing in common.
Four years ago, we moved into our new house. A few weeks later we needed tree maintenance. One of the workers noticed those old style television antennas stuck on top of a tree. It must have been there at least twenty or thirty years.
My neighbor across the street saw this play out. We hadn’t yet exchanged more than a few sentences. He was 80 years old. We shared little in common.
When I walked across the street to explain he launched into a belly laugh. He told a lengthy story about when he removed his antenna in favor of cable. It was the only conversation we ever had before he sold the house.
Reminder Of Better Times
That’s the power of using nostalgia to bond. It reminds everyone of better times. We think of the past as better than the present in the ways that matter most.
Here’s a few examples of nostalgic openings to try out.
Remember when we thought flip phones were cool?
Remember when we only had three news channels?
Remember the sound from a dial up modem?
Nostalgia is a great tool for creatives or persuasive writers. I’m giving away two best guides on creativity and persuasive writing. Get yours here.