The reality is that things will never be what they once were. The past is the past, and the present is something we all have to accept. Everything in life tells us that we shouldn't cling to how things were or what might have been better back in the day. In the classic way our parents would describe the hardships of walking to school five miles each way, up and down hills and through snow, when we have the luxury of a bus, or a car, or a bike, etc… aren't we supposed to embrace the change and the reality of our surroundings today? Those that lived before generally come to accept what the next generation wants or believes to be the right way, the new way. But does this natural progression always apply? Do we really have to conform and/or buy into what everyone says is okay? Or popular? Or current?
I remember how many times in my 20s I would laugh at or make fun of an older generation for being stuck in their ways and how they couldn't accept that things had changed in music, life, relationships, communication, etc. Now, in my late 30s (closer to 40), I find myself yelling at the young kids to get off my lawn for these exact same things. My reality is that I have reached a middle-ground existence, one where I'm not quite older, but I'm definitely not young anymore. So I try and see the truth of what those before me have shared, but I still try to understand and connect with the reality of life today for a younger generation. I can see how someone in their 20s who has been raised with cell phones (with cameras), tablets, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. sees the world from a completely different perspective than I do. On some things, I am sure we will agree, but on many others, we are just coming from two totally different worlds.
In speaking about this topic specifically from a music perspective, it might help to describe my own personal experience of being a dancer/listener and going to house/techno events in the early '90s. I remember that discovering this scene was something special; it was not yet mass produced or mass consumed, and to be a part of this community was like being invited into a family. You were welcomed in to be a part of shared experiences with all those who were on the dancefloor with you. The DJ was an alien that landed from some unknown outer world, and when the time was theirs, they played this music that was so powerful and body moving that you had no choice but to dance… for hours, you lost yourself and joined in this communal vibe and energy. You didn't even necessarily face the DJ, as the soundsystems were so physically large that you more often than not danced in the direction of the sound and the speakers; the DJ was just off somewhere in the corner. I remember the feeling being so powerful that many of us changed our entire lives to be a part of this movement and to embrace all the possibilities that came with it. Social media, cameras, and phones weren't even a consideration yet. Clubs and parties just existed for the music and the moment.