How Nostalgia Has Fueled the Resurgence of DIY in the Digital Age

Posted on Jun 29, 2018 - By OnPoint Global

Owning mid-century modern furniture and a few ‘90s throwback T-shirts aren’t just signs that you may be a hipster, but indicative of a cultural shift in a generation that’s always on and always plugged in. As life becomes easier, enabled by readily available technology and an improved quality-of-life across many socioeconomic strata, more and more millennials are seeking grounding experiences that harken back to a simpler time (even if that was only a few short years ago when watching Fresh Prince in their pajamas was the most pressing responsibility of the day).

And businesses have learned that helping millennials connect in “simpler” and “more authentic” ways is a lucrative trend. Peer-to-peer e-commerce platforms, such as AirBnB (valued at $31 billion), and clothing consignment giant Poshmark (on track to rake in over $100 million in revenue this year) help people link to like-minded individuals to exchange goods, services and experiences together. Ride-sharing communities, such as Lyft and Uber, have both introduced social “pool” options, and travel companies such as G-Adventures and Intrepid Traveler are building tours and experiences around connecting to other travelers to each other while exploring the world.

It’s no surprise that do-it-yourself (DIY) activities are experiencing a similar boom in line with this trend. Forget the big-box stores and mass-produced goods, millennials want to – quite literally – do it themselves. According to Inc.com, the DIY industry is expected to be worth over $13.9 billion by 2021. The proliferation of easy-to-follow instructional content from sites such as OnPointGuides.com has made it easy for would-be hobbyists to join communities of other tinkerers, share their creations and exchange ideas. Platforms like Etsy.com and Amazon Marketplace also make it easy for aspiring entrepreneurs to sell their goods, offer unique customization options and boast about their skills.

Why DIY Works

Do-it-yourself content is especially primed for millennial audiences looking for new ways to connect, because it links them to a social community of other photographers, builders and fill-in-the-blankers, while adding deeper meaning to the goods with which they surround themselves. For many people, hanging a television, assembling a piece of furniture, brewing their own beer and coffee or helping someone plan a trip is more valuable than the goods or experiences, themselves. Psychology Today dubs this the “IKEA effect.” According to the publication’s recent study, participants were willing to pay significantly more for an IKEA storage container they assembled, themselves, over the exact same container built and shipped in advance. The theory suggests that we instill greater value into things we create ourselves. Being able to create and customize something is a nostalgic luxury for millennials who have grown a little too accustomed to having everything readily available via an app or through service provider. Thus, cost and quality become secondary value drivers alongside sentimental value and uniqueness in today’s market.

DIY Content and Creative Tools Are More Readily Available Than Ever Before

Websites like Hometalk.com, DIY-centric television on HGTV or TLC and stores such as Home Depot all reinforce this collective interest in getting back to the basics, doing things ourselves and flexing our latent creative skills. Yet, outside the home goods sector, there is a near-untapped potential for do-it-yourself content to make everyday tasks and goals more personal, meaningful or easier. OnPointGuides.com is the first site driving this industry trend forward by offering more tailored DIY content across a wide range of topics, such as workplace and job guidance, business and personal finance, government services and all the traditional home and garden-related DIY content your heart desires. The website essentially creates a DIY owners’ manual for living a grounded life in today’s fast-paced world. And, it’s working. Some of the most popular and highly-rated content isn’t about building IKEA-style storage units, but accomplishing true, life-altering goals. For Instance, the “Section 8 Apartments Guide,” the “Effective Communication in the Workplace Guide” and the “How to Maximize Your Car’s Warranty Guide” all hint at how DIY content can add renewed value to the most mundane aspects of our lives, and turn nostalgia into fuel – for good.

The DIY trend is just getting started, and OnPoint Media’s sister site will be on the forefront, helping people enjoy life to the fullest and accomplish big and small tasks with earnestness and meaning.