What began as a joking phrase has evolved into a rallying cry for young people … so what does it mean?
The phrase “ok boomer” is defined by wikipedia as:
“a catchphrase and internet meme that gained popularity throughout 2019, used to dismiss or mock attitudes stereotypically attributed to the baby boomer generation. It is considered by some to be ageist.”
This meme, although it existed before, gained popularity on TikTok this year, in response to an older man, a “boomer,” or member of the baby boomer generation, complaining about the generations that came after his. He says that they believe the “utopia” that they feel in childhood can be continued into adulthood and basically that they refuse to grow up. In one instance, someone “dueted,” or reacted to the video with a video of themselves simply writing out and then holding up a sign that says “ok boomer.” The meme communities since have taken ahold of it, and it has spread rampantly since then. It is especially popular on Twitter and Reddit.
Although at first the phrase may be seen as hostile, it can also be viewed as a millennial retaliation for years of being called “snowflakes” by the more senior generations. The phrase has been called “ageist,” and even got called “the n-word of ageism” in a controversial tweet. This idea was quickly shot down by Stephen Colbert, among others. Despite all of this, it has also been pointed out that “ok boomer” is not a phrase used as a general stereotype; rather, it is targeted at specific baby boomers that say or do something to incur the wrath of Millenials scorned. Hence the hashtag #notallboomers was born and similar to the #notallmen movement is mocked by Millenials who see it as boomers simply missing the point.
The influences of this meme-turned-semi-political statement reach farther than the internet, however. Recently, New Zealand MP Chlöe Swarbrick was heard muttering the phrase under her breath as another parliament member heckled her. There was also a viral song made with the title “ok boomer.”
So what do you think? Is “ok boomer” just another passing trend? Is it divisive or deserved? Will the generational divide ever come to a close?Only time will tell.