Pop Culture: Then vs. Now

Pop culture is a lot different now then it was then. Now that people are bringing back the 90s, its important to talk about it too.

Pop culture has always been very influential to people in society, this may come in the form of trends, movies, shows, style, music, etc. Growing up in the 90s was different for many people but in this story, the differences between pop culture now and then will really be seen by interviewing someone who experienced it firsthand.

To get a grasp on how pop culture was in history, you must ask those who experienced it. In 2022 it is rare to have a real and raw experience like people did before, it was a lot different than it is now. With that, Dennis Webster, a teacher here at Rogers High School, agreed to be apart of this story and to talk about pop culture from the early 90s and how it may be different than pop culture today.

Currently, news spreads very rapidly while in the early to mid-90s it was a lot harder to be exposed to things you weren’t around.

“News goes faster nowadays because of social media. Back when I was in high school, we either heard it on the radio or we saw it on a station called MTV,” Webster said.

He also went on to talk about how music access is a lot different now. With the advancement in technology streaming apps and music are readily available at your fingertips, while using our phones is much easier, we also have to acknowledge the trouble people went through to learn new things in the past. In the 90s if you wanted to listen to any specific music you would have to physically buy the album, cd, cassette, etc. Webster believes that nowadays most kids have easier access to pop culture than he did in the past.

When Webster was younger, he went to a music festival in 1993 called Lollapalooza. He said it was amazing to see everybody come together. As it was a very influential thing in his life, he also realized that it’s a lot harder for kids nowadays to go see their favorite artists in person.

“The thing I feel for you guys now, concerts are getting expensive. For us they were not cheap, but they were affordable,” Webster said.

Webster believes that the reason those tickets have become so expensive is that it’s rare to find people who still buy physical sales of albums or singles.

One of the main effects of pop culture is division, an example of this is TikTok. On TikTok, you are put into groups based on things you have liked (your “for you page”) with this “for you page” you are bound to see the same thing as someone else. People divide themselves all the time by what they like.

Webster agreed to seeing division: “Yes, 100% you would see people click up. Not for everybody but for some people it was rocker, grunge, all that.”

With division also comes people who want to be a certain way. Webster went on to say that sometimes people may seek validation or acceptance by other people who participate in trends. In 2022 trends are extremely popular, you’ll see people all the time who look the same, dress the same, listen to the same music, watch the same things, read the same books, etc.

Originality is a lot harder to find in this day and age. With so many people learning the same things from social media it’s not uncommon to find someone who likes the same things you do, with that social media and pop culture has also brought everyone together in a way. Even though people divide themselves all the time it is a lot easier to find people with the same interests as you and a lot easier to socialize.

Even though pop culture has had some negative aspects it is not hard to say that it has brought a lot of good to the world as well. Without pop culture, we wouldn’t have made a lot of the advances we’ve made today. No matter what people will always find a way to impact each other, it’s in our nature. We are currently in the making of a new era that will continue to evolve over time. Soon we will look back on this and realize we are all just products of what is around us. In this sense, we are all the same.