I’m looking for a word.
This word should describe the feeling of abandonment/panic one gets when made to imagine living in a world of the known past, especially one fitted with a full range of obsolete communication technology.
Taken individually, the reintroduction of vinyl records, or cassette tapes, or antique video game consoles, can seem fun and ironic. (We might need to talk about that too.) But in a world made thoroughly of these implements – along with rotary corded phones, VHS tapes, Yellow Pages – there can arise a feeling of sickness, like a loss of the goal.
The nausea of lapsed technology.
A good illustration of this concept for a 1980s teenager is watching Napoleon Dynamite in 2017. I do remember watching it in 2005 and the feeling was of overwhelming cuteness. Now it is stomach-turning. Something about the alienation of this retroworld has intensified in the intervening decade.
Sure, many works of literature conjure worlds of the past, complete in every technical detail. But typically these aren’t claustrophobic. The typical period-piece pastiche of retrograde implements and patterns are part of a contract, part of the suspension of disbelief. It serves as authentication and insurance, and we engage with it only marginally.
The feeling I am describing may be related to an emotional pathway associated with other time vectors directed, for example, toward the future not the past: the panic of being failed in a school grade and held back while your peers advance; the sensation after the age of 30 when you are still at a party with beta type desperation-fueled radicalism suddenly evident as the only solution to being stuck.
But those are different words, for another post. This one is more specific.
Often help with such a task comes from German, that agglutinative aunt of English.
What do you think?