‘Ok boomer’ meme sparks generational feud among workplaces


CNN / Hilltop Views Illustrations

The phrase ‘Ok boomer’ sparked viral attention online after Tik Tok user @linzrinzz showed an elderly man criticizing millennials for thinking that their “utopian ideals will translate into adulthood.” Thousands of young Tik Tok users subverted the rant with the response ‘Ok boomer.’

Generational divides have been present for decades, with younger generations disagreeing with the operations of those before them. However, a new phrase on social media has been called the “meme of the moment.” The phrase “Ok, boomer” is currently circulating social media platforms such as Tik Tok and Twitter. The phrase is meant as a jab at the baby-boomer generation (born between 1946-1964) for the “out-of-touch judgments baby boomers pass on the tastes, values and lived experiences of millennials and Gen Zers.” 

The phrase has generated a large amount of controversy as many find it offensive, and it has even been banned in certain workplaces. Using someone’s age to insult them is disrespectful in any case, so this is no exception despite the attention the phrase has been getting. 

The divide between generations was previously more about who had more power and control rather than age. This is manifested in the “Ok, boomer” phrase as it is often about the younger generation not wanting to be controlled by the older generation. In this specific case, the term “boomer” isn’t just used to refer to those born in that generation. When used in this context, it can also mean anyone being resistant to change. This is important to know because it shows the deeper meaning of the phrase beyond the age group.

This usage of the phrase also doesn’t make much sense. Many baby boomers were advocates for change during certain time periods like the 1960s. Many baby boomers protested the Vietnam War, as well as fought for both gender equality and racial equality. In addition, many baby boomers started conversations about drug use and sex. Because of this, the stereotype of baby boomers being old-fashioned or resistant to change doesn’t hold a lot of weight. 

Used the phrase in an insulting way fuels stereotypes surrounding baby boomers and causes more animosity towards that generation, along with a greater generational divide in general. No one should be insulted for their age when they say something that another person may disagree with. It seems like a cop-out way to end an argument to simply say “Ok, boomer” rather than making a counterpoint or simply ignoring the statement. This whole situation was taken too far . If we try to work together rather than separating ourselves, the generational divide will be less present.