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Thoughts on “Ok Boomer”

In terms of meme lifespans, “Ok Boomer” is getting stale. It’s been everywhere. I first heard it a month or two ago from my brother back at home while, as a joke, he was dismissing something our mother had said. Since then, I’ve dwelled on it. As a marker of generational discourse, “Ok Boomer” has just begun. 

“Ok Boomer” is a Gen Z statement used to dismiss the Baby Boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964), poking fun at their resistance to change in terms of social dynamics, health care, economic issues, education, climate change, etc. It’s a joke and a rallying cry all at once. I sympathize with it. By no means do I hate any boomers, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get angry and anxious over how aspects of life, and the world itself, have been mishandled and left for others to clean up. With that said, the “Ok Boomer” call-to-arms isn’t without its flaws, nor is it revolutionary, nor should it be a scornful discussion-stopper. 

Every generation will, undoubtedly, have its fair share of “back in my day…” or “kids these days…” people. They’ll also have young dissenters to find weak points within every convention or institution, be it in social norms or the government. Even boomers had this with the “youth revolution” of the 1960s, as addressed by Holly Scott at The Washington Post. Unlike with prior generational unrest, social media allows current concerns to be front-and-center. While this makes it easier to express opinions, as well as communicate and access relevant information, it’s not the first time such sentiments have been stirred. Scott goes on to say the term “boomer” also “misnames the target of youth frustration” on those who are simply older, not those with the power to create change but choose not to (though it could still be both). Aside from this, “Ok Boomer” as a dismissal tactic won’t solve anything, no matter who it’s directed to. It will only generate animosity with anger on the boomers’ side and disdain on Gen Z’s. It needs to evolve from disaffected Gen Z humor to a genuine conversation starter, which I believe it can, though it takes effort on each side’s part. There is genuine merit to “Ok Boomer”. There is genuine frustration, care, and purpose in it. Today’s society has more opportunity for discussion than ever, and I speak for more than myself when saying that contemporary concerns ought to be addressed, evaluated, and listened to. 

, never let it be said that all memes are useless. 


Scott, Holly. “Perspective | The Problem with ‘OK, Boomer’.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 13 Nov. 2019, www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/11/13/problem-with-ok-boomer/.

Madison Holt

Augustana '22

English Major at Augustana College.
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