“Ok boomer” reveals problematic generational differences


Photo by: Maya Amador

CASUAL SCROLL: Junior, Eleanor Nelson, scrolls through TikTok in her "Ok boomer" sweatshirt. TikTok is where the meme gained the majority of its popularity.

Maya Amador, Commentary Editor

Generational differences have existed for years as younger generations get more and more progressive, but social media has made the anger for the prior generation more prominent than ever.

Dictionary.com describes “Ok boomer” as “a viral Internet slang phrase used, often in a humorous or ironic manner, to call out or dismiss out-of-touch or close-minded opinions associated with the baby boomer generation and older people more generally.”

Baby boomers have taken offense to the term calling it ageism and have taken the term completely out of context. Boomer ideals tend to contrast a lot with younger generations, but Generation Z and Millennials seem to hold a deep rooted hate for boomers due to the shared feeling that they have completely ruined the future for today’s youth.

Some boomers seem to be running from this idea and not actually looking at the facts to support it. Baby boomers should actually look at the problems caused by their generation and help push for action instead of blaming people who are younger because it’s easier.

When it comes to the current state of the economy, climate, and social order the fingers seem to point at boomers for not doing anything to stop they’re decline. Of course not all boomers are to blame, some have even been at the front of progressive campaigns, but the truth is that boomers have statistically ruined the future.

Most people seem to be unaware of how extreme the damage is but to put in perspective todays infrastructure is completely crumbled due to the corners boomers cut. There’s an estimated $4 trillion deficit in deferred maintenance of the infrastructure, according to The American Society of Civil Engineers. Boomers were handed what at the time was one of the best infrastructures in the world but let it slowly crumbled over time due to unnecessary tax cuts and borrowing money with no concern of who it was affecting.

The American education system has also been slowly going down hill and this contributes to the elimination of the middle class causing most Americans to go into debt because of rising student loans. Also, the evidence for climate change has been around since the late nineties  but no immediate action was taken. Baby boomers were given a rich, and economically successful country and made choices with no regard for their children’s future, these choices led to the feeling of betrayal felt by today’s generation.

Boomers are also associated with having close minded views on today’s social issues. Changing someone’s opinion can be difficult but becomes harder to do the more personal the issue is and the longer they’ve had that opinion. Because of this, changing the mind of someone who is older can lead to them just seeing you as young and immature and completely invalidate your opinion. The Internet has also made it challenging to find another perspective when you can fill your feed with sources who share the same view as you. It makes moving forward in society almost impossible when no one is willing to hear the other side.

Most “Ok, boomer” memes are about boomers making rude or hypocritical comments towards a worker. You constantly see articles complaining about the entitlement of today’s youth, saying that it is all due to the fast pace nature of social media but very few articles acknowledge the entitlement boomers have towards people just trying to do their minimum wage paying jobs.

“Ok boomer” is a completely harmless way for Generation Z to completely air out their grievances towards boomers. Boomers saying the term is offensive only proves the jokes original intention, that boomers are out of touch. This doesn’t mean that we should lose all respect for our prior generations but we shouldn’t lose sight of making a better future and making sure we get a stable, livable Earth for the next generation.