If a teen is drawn to early web aesthetics, it is not out of a nostalgia for their youth. It is, instead, a yearning for a time from before they even existed, a time they can only imagine. That seems hella old to me, and hella folksy.

I think we are drawn to the aesthetics of the early web because it feels authentic and human, like a chair made by hand or a band playing only for the love of it. And if our modern lives are defined by the omnipresence of the internet, then idolizing Geocities pages could be seen as a way of connecting to our roots. So building a website from scratch, with hard-coded gif animations and a web-ring, is now part of the back-to-the-land tradition.