Gen Z takes a tech step back

Gen Z is bringing back some classic tech gadgets from around 2010.

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Gen Z takes a tech step back


The Future. Gen Z is bringing back some classic tech gadgets from around 2010, turning the tools into fashion pieces or simply stylistic accessories. Some of it may seem bizarre but peel back the layers, and you may find a generation that just wants to experience a world that wasn’t dominated by the tentacles of Big Tech.

Corded nostalgia
Tired: bluetooth earphones. Wired: wired earphones.

  • Gen Z is bringing back old tech as new trends, including wired earphones, the iPod shuffle, ethernet cables, and old TV remotes..
  • While these items serve little utilitarian purpose, they’re actually making a comeback for mostly aesthetic ones — like making sandals and hats out of ethernet cables.
  • It’s a more style-over-substance offshoot of how Millennials revived vinyls and Polaroid cameras.

Purposefully out-of-focus
The new aesthetic is what trend forecaster Mandy Lee calls “indie sleaze,” which idolizes things like “Tumblr, flash photography, American Apparel, and opulent displays of partying.” There’s a feeling of ironic imperfection that seems like retaliation to the sleek, tech-bro culture of Silicon Valley.

After School” newsletter writer Casey Lewis thinks that Gen Z is reaching for a simpler time where Big Tech just wasn’t so big: “People are tired of the internet and the pace—the Facebook of it all right now. And it makes us think about these more niche tech experiences that we had growing up.”

So who’s breaking out their Motorola Razr?

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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