It’s OK, Boomer

I promise it's not what you think.

Sidney Lowry

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In the past three months, I’ve heard “OK boomer” a countless amount of times. I go to open my Instagram – “OK Boomer.” I scroll through TikTok – “OK Boomer.” It’s driving me nuts.

At first, I didn’t know what it meant. I Googled it and immediately over 95 million results showed up. It’s a meme from Generation Z (people born from 1996 to 2009) that was
a response to when Baby Boomers (people born from 1946 to 1964) would say something outdated or out of touch with reality. Its rise in popularity with Gen Z caused an uproar.

They consider “OK, Boomer” a sign of disrespect. I can’t understand why. I was recently talking to a teacher about the meme and she said that if a student said that to her, they would end up having a sit-down conversation over it.

When I think of “OK, Boomer” as many of my other peers do, I think of it situationally. Say that you end up striking up a conversation with an old family friend, but by the end of it they end up calling you a ‘snowflake’ because you showed “too much emotion.” A natural response to that because of the recent trend would be to say “OK, Boomer.”

The phrase is meant to shut down unnecessary arguments that people from different generations would have. Gen Z and Boomers both have very headstrong feelings and opinions towards political and social topics. They both have such strong feelings, that they both aren’t going to change their minds, so is the argument really worth it?

Both generations are on opposite sides of the spectrum, usually, when it comes to politics, the argument that is meant to convey their opinions is likely not worth it. Boomers want to argue about their views and then Gen Z’s shut it down with two words.

Boomers think that because we aren’t willing to listen to their point of view that we are disrespectful with our thoughts, opinions and actions. The reality is that we have heard what they have to say numerous times and don’t want to waste time on an argument that won’t change our opinions.

Avoiding an argument is not the same as dismissing a viewpoint or other perspectives. To me, “OK, Boomer” isn’t meant as a way to call people old or to say that I don’t care about their opinions, it is meant as a quick way for us to stop an argument that isn’t worth our while.

And with that I say, It’s OK, Boomer, we understand that you have your opinions, but we have ours, too.