Text of a tweet from @JoeBugBuster that says "Only 15 minutes until #NostalgiaChat - Got your ears on?"

NostalgiaChat Turns 10, marking a Decade of Nostalgia

NostalgiaChat was conceived on May 30, 2012 as a side conversation during another Twitter chat called ToolsChat. We started talking about retro computer technology like floppy drives and dialup modems, and realized this could become its own chat. We adopted the #NostalgiaChat name and hashtag after Kelly Singh made sure it was available.

Beki Winchel and I agreed to host the chat, and the first official NostalgiaChat was on June 6, 2012 for 30 minutes. A few weeks later it was expanded to an hour, since a half hour proved just too short.

The time and date were shifted a few times over the years to accommodate participants. In 2017 Beki passed the co-host baton to Terry Porter.

We now get together for an hour every Sunday at 4 PM Pacific / 7 PM Eastern / 11 PM UTC. (UTC is Midnight in Winter and 11 PM in Summer due to Daylight Saving Time in the majority of North America.)

We also have a Facebook group for folks who like to hang out there, or who enjoy nostalgia but can’t make it to the chat on twitter.

Got Your Ears On?

Fifteen minutes before the chat, I usually tweet this:

There has been a lot of speculation about what “got your ears on” refers to. One suggestion was that it’s time for Disney fans to put on their Mickey Mouse ears. It could also mean “are you in a Disney mood?” There’s certainly a lot of nostalgia associated with Disney media and theme parks, so either would make perfect sense.

Another suggestion is the old CB radio slang from the 70s. Back then it was a way of asking if a certain person was listening to their radio. CB users had handles just like we have Twitter handles today, and this is what I had in mind when I started answering the question. However, I always make the point that NostalgiaChat is for fun, so you can read the questions any way that sounds good to you.

How’s the Weather in Your Neck of the Woods?

On the hour, at the beginning of each chat, that’s the first thing I ask. It seemed retro and homey, and reminded me of Tom Bodett for Motel 6 saying, “we’ll leave the light on for you.” And of course conversations everywhere include light conversation about the weather.

The reports are also a great reminder of the chat’s diverse audience. Though the majority of participants from week to week are in the US and Canada, we’ve seen tweets from a dozen or more countries. One week I noticed we had folks from Melbourne (Australia), Maryland (USA), and Manilla (Philippines). Another week I noticed the weather had been similar between the UK and the Northern US. Brazil always seems to be hot – though of course the Equator crosses through it.

The Ron Popeil Connection

One of our favorite moments was when Ron Popeil, perpetual inventor and marketer of tech gadgets, responded to one of our tweets.

When Popeil passed away on July 28, 2021 it was only natural to mention him, and the chat’s appreciation for his marketing genius and retro tech vibe.

Music and Books and Food

NostalgiaChat has a different topic every week, but a few keep coming back periodically. Food is a big one. Regardless of the topic, someone always seems find a connection to food. We also like to remember books, TV shows, movies, and music from when we were growing up.

That includes a soft spot for radio personality Casey Kasem, who notably co-created and hosted the original American Top 40 radio program from its inauguration in 1970 to 1988.

Kasem passed away on Jun 15, 2014 which was Father’s Day and also NostalgiaChat Sunday,

People still mention him during the chat, especially in relation to his AT40 countdown. People of a certain age may remember recording music off of the radio, and countdown shows provided a better-than-random chance of recording the song(s) you wanted to record.

A Decade of Nostalgia

Not many Twitter chats make get to celebrate their ten year anniversary. Of course not many Twitter chats are about nostalgia, which is timeless.

Sometimes someone suggests that they are too young to talk about nostalgia. I respond with some variation on “Everyone is nostalgic – just just about different things.” Thanks to quarantine life, many of us are even nostalgic about our lives of just a few years ago.

What makes you nostalgic? Do you ever talk about it on social media?

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