We currently notice that people are having a strong interest in new media culture in media technologies from the past and its sense of nostalgia and it is seen clearly in Instagram filters nowadays. People instead of sharing airbrushed and photoshopped photos, they keep trying to filter their digital photographs to design an old stylistic effect, vintage filters, film scratches, discoloration and polarization effects to actualize the present through a lens of the past. Instagram and many other apps allow their users to quickly retouch their pictures by playing with lighting, preset filters and frames to simulate the physical nature of the analog photography. Filter and effect apps are taking advantage of the growing nostalgia for the analog by highlighting the age signs, such as torn borders, film scratches and yellowish colors.
Media technologies are affected by memories with the development of digital media technologies and the online platforms. Media technologies not only play the role of an archival and mnemonic means but often act as ‘performative’ tool for self-representation and memory dissemination. Accordingly, more than working as a digital equivalent for an analog photo album, many social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook work as an existing achieve that is defined by having dynamic, unstable, interactive, and temporary qualities. The immateriality that the digital media is attributed are often referred to as one of the explanations for the return or reassessment of tactility and physicality in the new media culture. With the spread of digital media, it appears that we embrace things like old typewriters, watches and physical books many old things in the digital era. As we spend more time in the digital world, we increasingly appreciate the time we spend with real people weather they are our family or friends and real things. (Heijden 2015)
People nowadays shoot family photos and videos in an old- fashioned way, as the return of the analogue aesthetic has been affected by the loss of the physical nature of family photos and memory practices with the emergence of digital media technologies. People nowadays rarely print any family photos, but instead of that they prefer storing them on their computers as files. Therefore, the return of analogue aesthetic can be seen as compensating for the loss of the material importance in family memory practices. (Sapio 2014)
Although Sapio indicates how this actually recreates the analog look she doesn’t explain how the analog aesthetic is not able to recreate act previous family rituals like watching a group for home movies or family photo albums. She also does not take into account the degree of the materiality which is still involved in digital media practices, for example, the use of hard drives, memory cards, and computers on which digital data depends. However, she also highlights the importance of the symbolic dimension and the potential of technostalgia to go between the past and the present.
To conclude, this essay uses the concept of technostalgia to examine briefly how the materiality and aesthetics of the past media technologies have been treated in new media memory practices. Furthermore, this essay shows how Instagram was affected by nostalgia according to Giuseppina Sapio. It also shows how people are having a strong enthusiasm in new media culture in media technologies from the past and its sense of nostalgia.