Opinion: “OK boomer,” calm down

Though many believe the meme is an attack on older generations, “OK Boomer” is a way for younger generations to express their dissent


Jamie Rotfeld

“OK Boomer” is partially a response to a generation that feels out of sync—and a tongue-in-cheek attempt at trying to reclaim power in a society that has rendered younger generations powerless.

Hayley DuHamel, Staff Writer

A teenager scrolls through Twitter and sees a negative comment about a political issue or a complaint about a specific group. The teenager thinks that the Tweet is so ridiculous, that all they feel is a worthy response is “OK Boomer.”

The latest meme to take the Internet by storm, “OK Boomer,” has been the source of much tension from the Baby Boomer generation. “Baby Boomers” are the age group that was born during the baby boom from 1946 through 1964. A baby boom is when a spike in the population occurs in an era. During the baby boom in the 1950s, 50 million babies were born. “OK boomer” comes as a response to these older generations.

 “OK Boomer” is usually used as a reply when someone from an older generation complains about things, such as, “kids these days are too lazy”, “young people have it too easy”, or the classic ”back in my day…” When these phrases are said, people who are considered Generation Z say “OK Boomer”. This is a joke used because many don’t agree with what the older generation said, but they feel that arguing with them about it would be a waste of time.

The phrase “OK Boomer” should not cause such anger from the baby boomer generation because it is used simply as a joke and isn’t used maliciously. 

According to Shannon O’Connor, the designer of the “OK Boomer” line of clothing, “I think some people are beginning to take the phrase a little too seriously. I’ve seen an article going around saying it’s now a ‘slur.’ The meme really started out as a fun, lighthearted joke and was never intended to harm anyone.” 

The phrase upsets quite a few people, even though it is just two words. “OK Boomer”  is not a “slur” or attack on baby boomers. It is even used against generations X and Y as well.  The idea is simply a reply to older mindsets. 

There are many people who believe that the meme shows how close-minded kids are these days. However, it is really the opposite. It is the open-mindedness that comes with newer generations that makes Generation Z uncomfortable with intolerance of some of these older beliefs. Many of these mindsets can be very hurtful and were changed as the generations moved on for good reason. 

Baby Boomers have been saying rude things about Millennials and Generation Z for decades. Yet, when younger generations fire back with something like “OK Boomer,” they get upset. Baby Boomers have often said things about these younger generations being lazy and “overly sensitive” and “special snowflakes”, so Baby Boomers complaining about this is hypocritical. 

Why is this meme the thing that makes them angry enough to call this phrase a “generational slur” or a “weapon of generational warfare?” Why would they call this generational warfare, instead of the things that they say? They seem very offended by a simple joke that is not meant to be taken seriously. “OK Boomer” is just a meme, and will be gone as soon as it appeared.