Recently, a simple two-word phrase has taken the internet by storm. “Ok Boomer ” is a catchphrase and internet meme that has gained immense popularity throughout 2019. It’s widely used to mock attitudes of the baby boomer generation. Boomers were born roughly between 1946 to 1965 and are linked to very traditional views on many topics. Basically, Millennials ( born 1981 to 1996) and Boomers are known to butt-heads very often, and Millenials have claimed a new defense against their “rivals.”
Many Millenials claim Boomers are out of touch with modern-day society, whilst Boomers claim Millenials want to be applauded for doing the bare minimum. Generation Z, the teenagers of our current decade, are joining in on this trend now too. Teenagers are firing back at their teachers and parents on social media apps like Tik Tok, Instagram, and Snapchat. Most often, teens and Millennials “are reacting to adults judging things like gender expression, financial choices, their approach to job-hunting, or their leisure activities.”
Nina Kasman, a teen entrepreneur, told the New York Times that, “Everybody in Gen Z is affected by the choices of the boomers, that they made and are still making.” Generation Z also commonly uses the term “Ok Boomer” out of anger for the boomers involvement in global warming, which is a huge topic in today’s society.
A large group of Boomers are unhappy with the spread of this new catchphrase, insisting it is completely ageist and disrespectful. It has been discouraged by boomers to be used in workplaces or schools by younger generations. Ironically, this response was used against boomers to further cement the meme. Eventually, this term made its way to politics on November 4th, when a 24-year-old New Zealand politician used “Ok Boomer ” to counter one of her older colleagues in parliament.
A lot of what sparked “Ok Boomer” can be traced back to “elders know best” logic, which all of our parents are guilty of using to defend themselves. There is little-to-no acknowledgment that younger, educated adults might also have wisdom and valuable insight into today’s problems. When you look at it’s roots, “it’s really about economic anxiety, the threat of environmental collapse, and people resisting change” Millennials and Generation Z want to be appreciated more in discussions and taken seriously. It is important to them that adults take a moment to understand their perspective.