So much goes on in just a week on the internet. In case you missed it, the latest controversy that has sparked a battle between elders of our society and the younger generations is the term “ Ok boomer”. It’s coined from the name of the baby boomer generation but is being used out of humor and irony.
The exact origin of the meme is unknown, but it was first introduced through 2018 Twitter. A year later and the term has blown into a war between the generations. To respond to a conversation with the term “ Ok boomer”, you are dismissing the argument or statement made by the older person who made it. We’re taught to respect our elders, and while we should, we don’t always get the same respect back. We often have to listen to why our nose piercing doesn’t make us pretty or wearing too much makeup isn’t pretty. While the world is changing around us, the older generation wants to push their generational customs into us.
While “boomer” or “ok boomer” may be offensive to some, it’s not a slur which means it shouldn’t be compared to those terms that are demeaning.
Just as John Kelly, senior editor at Dictionary.com, explained: “You cannot compare the N-word to “boomer”; if you do, you’re fundamentally not understanding the power balance that goes with slurs”. Calling someone a “boomer” in no way oppresses them in the way that racial slurs have oppressed minorities historically.
Since the exposure that Tik Tok has given the term, it’s no longer an inside joke of the internet. New stations have spoken about it, the Disney heiress defended it, and it’s even been used in a court of law. 25-year-old New Zealand lawmaker retorted with “ok boomer” after someone mocked her age during her climate change speech.
While it might’ve seemed out of place, this quip might be more than what it seems. This might just mark the start of younger generations finally getting a foothold on the world that we’re going to be molding for the next.