I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this question. My theory is quite simple: life gets in the way.
For most of us, there’s a period of time in our lives–usually from the time we enter high school until we leave college/university–when music means everything. It consumes us to our very souls. We also use music to project an identity to others. We listen constantly. We research it. We go to gigs. We wear the t-shirts. Music is an essential part of our coming of age.
But eventually, other things begin to intrude. Jobs. Relationships. Kids. Mortgages. Debts. Responsibility. It’s just not possible to devote the kind of time, energy and emotion to music that we once did. Music discovery is no longer a priority. Instead, we tend to go back to the old and the familiar–the music our youth.
That’s one way of looking at it. Medium.com offers up this explanation: