Why “OK Boomer” May Be the Best Thing Ever
For a solid number of years now, Gen Z-ers and Millennials have suffered the ridicule of the older generation, being called “snowflakes” and hearing the term “Millennial” used as a pejorative rather than a simple categorization of a generation. If one were to believe the headlines, Millennials have ruined everything that ever was or will be.
They’ve argued it, they’ve rolled their eyes, they’ve resigned themselves to being misunderstood.
But now it seems they’ve come out swinging. Or, as my middle child (24) puts it: “It’s like saying ‘whatever’ to an entire generation” after countless conversations that have gone nowhere.
It may have taken a couple months to gain its footing, but the snarky response of “OK Boomer” (or its slightly more insulting lowercased “ok boomer”) is now hitting mainstream and even viral status. And you know what? I think the reaction it’s getting is kind of hilarious.
For clarification purposes, I should disclose that I fall in that odd category of being born in the first year of Generation X. I don’t really identify with the Boomers, but I’m at the older end of the Gen X-ers, so I can only relate to them so well.
That said, I’ve watched the generation wars, have listened to my adult children (a Millennial, a Gen Z, and one who straddles the line between them as a “Zillennial”) and their frustrations as they try to converse with people who don’t want to listen, and I have to admit I’m torn.
I grew up with the work ethic that dictated I go to college after high school (because you must take advantage of opportunities your parents couldn’t), get a job as soon as I graduated from college, and stick it out until I retired.
College was expensive, depending on which school was chosen, but student loans were a fact of life, car loans were typical, and debt in general was accepted as normal. Work could be found if we looked hard enough. Pensions were common. Retirement was practically a sure thing.