Mahea Attempts To Think Deeply: Ok Boomer


Courtesy of LHStoday

The term “OK Boomer” is one of the latest memes amongst teens today.

Videos tagged with “#OKBoomer” on trending social media platform, TikTok, have racked up over 44.6 million views and the plethora of memes posted to Instagram and Twitter revolving around this popular phrase draws attention to the awakening of an already prominent divide between generations of age.

Wikipedia has carefully analyzed the term and has defined “OK Boomer” as “a pejorative retort used to dismiss or mock perceived narrow-minded, outdated, negative-judgment, or condescending attitudes of older people.” This term has been a source of banter between the younger generations, especially teenagers, and the Baby Boomers, or frankly, “old people”. A fellow classmate, Camille Slagle, expands on this definition, “We’re tired of explaining stuff to the older generations. Like climate change. They just don’t listen. It’s a term that we’re just saying we’re just going to give up.”

Boomer refers to the generation born between 1946 and 1964. Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Mike Pence, and George W. Bush have all been strong influences in national and global politics for the last decade and representative of the Baby Boomer generation.

This cross-generational dialogue has gained popularity amongst young cohorts, becoming more than just a meme—a political statement perhaps. This term may have arisen by questionable actions of certain politicians and world leaders met with a response of intense activism of young people defying politicians and challenging outdated ideas revolving around environmental health, sexuality, race, and human rights throughout the country. This generational-discord is amplified now that issues like climate change, gun control, and abortion rights have embossed themselves on virtually every social media platform.

I think there’s a reason for this term, predominantly to contribute to the “anti-boomer sentiment,” but the root meaning to the term draws attention to the division between the ideas, agreements, foundations of the young and old people that are amplified far beyond Instagram memes and Twitter threads. Kaleo Green, Grade 12, said, “I think it’s hilarious. It’s the polite way of saying, “OK, old person who’s stuck in their own ways.”

The Climate Strike is a prominent example of a global movement where the younger generations are at the forefront. They gather to tell people in power, specifically, the older generations, that the younger generations are taking matters into their own hands, calling out the incompetence of the older generation’s inflexible epistemology of doing things, and fighting desperately and passionately for their future. A 17-year-old environmental activist and pinnacle influencer of the climate movement, Greta Thunberg, illustrates this outcry perfectly. She said, “You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.”

Although OK Boomer could be depicted as more of a pop-culture reference or snark retort, it exudes an energy that some may interpret as disrespect and ignorant division, while others use it to expose the disfunction and lack of agency the older generations possess.