We’ve all lost an afternoon here and there poring over old family photos. They are one-second snippets of our pasts, frozen forever thanks to the click of a Polaroid: You and your brother in matching sailor suits, sitting on a fake log in a photo studio. Your dad in a sweet, sweet pair of cut-off jean shorts. Your mom with a perm that would make Vidal Sassoon cry. You can cut the nostalgia with a banana clip.
Chase Banta, founder of the Instagram account Old School Dads, felt a need for this type of nostalgia on social media after an “once-every-five-year trip” through some family photos.
“As I was scrolling through the photos, I kept being awestruck by how iconic some of the pictures of my dad were,” Banta tells Babble. “I decided I’d make a feed that, hopefully, would bring others as much joy as I was feeling looking through my dad’s best photos.”
And bring people joy it has. In the short time that Old School Dads has been on Instagram (Banta’s first post was published on March 5, 2018), the account has accrued almost 10K followers. Quite an accomplishment, considering that the brand doesn’t have a website of its own or other social media accounts promoting it. Banta, who isn’t a father yet, points to serving up some good, old-fashioned nostalgia as the reason for the account’s quick growth.
“There are thousands of meme, fitness, food, pet, automobile, etc. type accounts, and no matter how much someone loves that kind of content, it can’t help but be refreshing to periodically have your feed interrupted by a sweet/hysterical/classic/iconic old school dad,” says Banta.
We have to agree. The photos on the Old School Dads account instantly takes you back in time. An ultimate throwback picture with a quick caption is all it takes to connect Insta-scrollers with memories of their own childhoods.
While Banta admits to being new to the social media content game, he immediately realized that he was onto something. So, recently he created a sister account for pictures of — you guessed it — Old School Moms.
When I asked Banta why he thought the brands resonated so fully with people and their own families, his answer was simple.
“I think people find it cathartic and fitting to look at them with the sort of reverence and respect now that they were due back then,” he says.
Want to submit pictures of your own old school parents? Follow Banta’s accounts on Instagram, tag his accounts in the pictures, and use #OldSchoolDads or #OldSchoolMoms so he can find and feature your photos.