Source: @florencepugh_ on Twitter
The new “OK Boomer” meme that has been flooding internet platforms like Reddit and TikTok has begun to upset the targeted demographic: the Baby Boomer generation who were born from approximately 1945 to 1965. This generation stems from the enormous expansion of American homelife that occurred after World War II soldiers returned to their healthy lives, ready to start families.
However, despite the name of the meme, this phrase is mainly thrown at anyone who says something that is considered outdated or ignorant. Some of the most popular tweets using this format comment on things like how the Baby Boom generation caused the price of education to skyrocket, climate change, and the seemingly unaffordable, and still rising, cost of living.
According to Berkeley Earth research, global temperatures have risen almost a full degree Celsius since 1940. The federal debt has also increased sixteen-fold since 1980, according to the Pew Research center.
These facts are tough to swallow for the new generation who has to live with the consequences, but seemingly obsolete to the old generation who were just recently complaining about how Millennials were ruining everything from the “hangout sitcom” to even sex itself.
But the moment the “youngsters” reject these outlandish claims, the “boomers” basically freak out. Even going so far as to claim that the phrase “OK Boomer” is the new N-word. This is not only extremely undermining to the (still ongoing) struggles that Black Americans have to face, but it is also the biggest “boo hoo!” I have ever heard.
Older folks claim that the phrase only divides the generations and makes it harder to talk through issues that every generational gap encounters.
“But in the process of defending themselves, they are unfortunately perpetuating the very age-oriented stereotypes they don’t want to be labeled by,” says Megan Gerhardt in her piece for NBC News.
But where were these articles when everyone was calling Millennials lazy, entitled brats? Where are the articles talking about how old government offices knew of the rapidly rising debt and problems caused by pollution while the older generations still voted the same sweet-talking politicians into power? The same politicians who used fear-mongering, “America is awesome and can do no wrong” tactics?
Generation Z, the credited creators of this meme, are merely trying to fight back against the stereotypes that were pushed on them in the first place. Is ageism wrong? Of course. But this meme does not seek to belittle senior citizens who are just living their lives, it wishes to curve the hate that is directed continuously towards people for being too young to understand, or too sensitive, or too lazy, or anything else that is our generation’s (although sometimes over-exaggerated) attempt to fix the wrongs of the past.
We have tried fighting fair. We have attempted convincing racist Grandma Judy that the black mailman is not going to rob her; he is just doing his job. Calm down, Judy. We have tried telling Uncle Gary that climate change is, in fact, very real and is not a plot created by the Chinese government or the so-called “deep state” to scare us. We have tried a billion times, but we are brushed continuously aside for our youthful ignorance.
The “OK Boomer” meme is about brushing off the cruel words of older generations with just one simple, harmless phrase. A phrase that can say so much so succinctly. A phrase that says: you can be in denial all you want, but we are not, and we are going to do something about it. Who is the snowflake now?