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“We’re so back” is so back

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Like most popular memes, “we’re so back” is flexible and expansive. There is virtually no scenario in which one cannot be either “done” or “back.” And part of the humor comes from how quickly something can end after returning, as well as the exaggerated feelings that can accompany each state of being. (Also, the phrase is fun to say. Seriously, try it. We’re such back.)

Tom Haynes, a journalist in London, often finds himself saying this while playing with his hockey team. “It’s like you describe every minor success, no matter how arbitrary, as the comeback of the century,” Mr. Haynes, 28, wrote in a direct message on X.

Max Read, a writer from Brooklyn, said he envisioned the meme in more economic terms. He compared the sharp and rapid fluctuations of the “return” and then the “end” to the fluctuations of the stock market.

“You look at all the measures of economic sentiment, and by most measures the economy is booming, but no one seems to think so,” said Mr. Read, 38, who has written about the phrase in a newsletter. last summer. “I think everyone is a little nervous that something is going to happen at the drop of a hat.”

A sense of nostalgia for the recent past is also inherent in being “back.” When Ms. Del Rey performed at Coachella in 2014, it was perhaps not a moment that anyone at the time thought they would want to relive. A decade later, hindsight gives this era a tantalizing aspect of pseudo-innocence.

“Nostalgia is one of the defining cultural ideas on social media,” said Jessica Maddox, assistant professor of digital media at the University of Alabama. “Things that are rebooted, reworked, or reappeared. This is a sentence that sums it up.

This feeling of nostalgia is not limited to memories of better times, Dr. Maddox added, but can also apply to almost anything a person has ever experienced. “Even if it’s chaotic or bad or ridiculous,” she says, “well, at least it’s familiar.”

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