“Those choices are hurting us and our future. A song by Peter Kuli & Jedwill known as “OK BOOMER!” — the verses define boomers as racist, fascist Trump supporters with bad hair — became a popular song choice for TikTok sing-along videos this fall. And many baby boomers seem to be making her point for her by misunderstanding what OK boomer is about. This content is imported from Twitter. It suggests that the conversation around the anxieties and concerns of younger generations has become so exhausting and unproductive that the younger generations are collectively over it. This content is imported from Third party. Our editors handpick the products that we feature. As she was exiting Deadspin, she wrote about the tone-deaf and poorly considered changes the site’s new parent company, G/O Media, had brought to the newsroom. "), "As a young artist, the success is absolutely mind-blowing and more than I could have ever expected," says O'Connor (who goes by @toasterpancakes on the TikTok app, where you can find myriad OK Boomer memes). We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back. She simply said, "OK boomer," and kept talking, unfazed. So if an older adult sees themselves as financially successful, respectful, and job-loyal, the study suggests they might be more likely to view a younger person as a financially irresponsible and insolent job-hopper. In the end, the debate around OK boomer might be another iteration of the endless parade of internet-fueled ideological debates in which neither side is listening to the other. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. Boomers — the generation born roughly between 1946 and 1965 — scoff that millennials expect “participation trophies” for doing the bare minimum. The broader background to all of this resentment is the perceived irony that while boomers nitpick and judge younger generations for their specific choices, it’s the boomers’ own choices that created the bleak socioeconomic landscape that millennials and Gen Z currently face. Younger generations are more diverse, less religious, and more directly impacted by economic inequality than their forebears. Rather than endlessly defend decisions stemming from deep economic strife, to save money instead of investing in stocks and retirement funds, to buy avocados instead of cereal — teens and younger adults are simply through. We all know the immortal cry that parents just don’t understand, but in this case, the media and the cultural narrative around the OK boomer meme isn’t helping — especially since so many attempts to “explain” the meme or “clap back” have missed the point about why millennials are mad. One of my relatives even sent me a photo of Donald Fagen from Steely Dan in one of my designs! Considered by some to be ageist, the phrase has also been used commercially to sell merchandise, and there have been multiple t… It’s about our apocalyptic future. "I think some people are beginning to take the phrase a little too seriously," she tells Good Housekeeping. " OK boomer is a viral internet slang phrase used, often in a humorous or ironic manner, to call out or dismiss out-of-touch or close-minded opinions associated with … Members of Generation Z, born roughly between 1996 and 2015, are portrayed as addicted to their phones, “intolerant” of their elders, and stuck in a “different world” thanks to the internet. The moment occurred just as she was discussing the urgency her generation feels to prioritize and deal seriously with the problem, and explaining her frustration that previous cycles of lawmakers have failed to do so. 30 Year-old Boomer refers to a character spread on 4chan mocking older millennials who enjoy things deemed out of touch with younger millennials, particularly in regards to video games. In 2016, boomers were more likely to vote for conservative options like Brexit and Donald Trump than younger voters; statistically, boomers are less concerned about climate change than younger generations. In the Washington Post, history professor Holly Scott reminded everyone that boomers were once activists too. But she also argues that boomers miss the point — that crucial things are a lot harder. Millennials say boomers are “out of touch.” Millennials (born roughly between 1980 and 1996) are “killing” once-stable industries like cereal by saving money, spending less, and “eating avocados.” Boomers have “mortgaged the future” in exchange for hoarding wealth while also voting to end necessary social programs. "I’ve seen an article going around saying it's now a 'slur.' But what, exactly, does "OK Boomer" mean? You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, All 'The Good Doctor' Season 4 Guest Stars So Far, Prince Charles Might Have Not Loved Princess Diana, Read the Note Lori Loughlin Sent Candace Bure, Courtney Cox Does Microblading In No-Makeup Photo, At This Dinner Party, Talking About Grief Is Good, The Best Amazon Black Friday Deals of 2020, Gwen Stefani Finally Showed Off Her Giant Ring. Shannon O'Connor, who designed an "OK Boomer" line of clothing (a riff on an old takeout bag design), thinks people might be interpreting it the wrong way. This content is imported from Instagram. The earliest mentions of OK boomer can be traced as far back as 2015 on 4chan, where the phrase was used as an insult by the forum’s anonymous users, aimed at other anons who seemed out of touch. OK Boomer was something millennials used to say to confused boomers online, two words that mean everything about boomers: that boomers are selfish, that boomers are out of touch, that boomers don’t have any idea what they talking about. The conversation isn’t through with them, however, not least because the rise of OK boomer has provoked concurrent backlash from baby boomers, many of whom have misread the meme, and feel it is motivated mainly by ageism. As Vox’s Brian Resnick recently explained, a study on a phenomenon called “presentism” showed that “adults who are more authoritarian are more likely to say kids today are a lot less respectful of elders than they used to be. She writes teenagers use it as a comeback to "basically any person over 30 who says something condescending about young people — and the issues that matter to them.". And even after overseeing decades of financial prosperity that’s arguably wrecked the economic future for decades to come, the richest baby boomers continue to amass wealth for themselves in the face of debilitating economic inequality. Perhaps that’s why so many of them keep pushing back against the meme — thereby strengthening the meme’s basic point. That's a lot of Gen Zers who feel the need to give a poke in the ribs to the older folks out there. “Everybody in Gen Z is affected by the choices of the boomers, that they made and are still making,” 18-year-old Nina Kasman, who sells "ok boomer" swag, told the New York Times. Cowen’s column was a strange echo of an August essay by former Deadspin editor Megan Greenwell. But many of those offended by OK boomer seem to understand very little of this. The phrase generally appears in a greentext snowclone reading "that 30 year old boomer who X" and is accompanied by a specific Brainlet Wojak variation. We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. In particular, her statement highlights the pattern of boomers failing to realize that the perceived ageism of the meme, even as a joke, is a stand-in for rational economic anxieties. In The New York Times, writer Taylor Lorenz defines "OK Boomer" as, "Generation Z’s endlessly repeated retort to the problem of older people who just don’t get it, a rallying cry for millions of fed up kids." In response to this line of thinking, the Twitter hashtag #boomeradvice recently went viral — but instead of praising boomers’ knowhow, the point of the tag was to mock the most out-of-touch advice, often about work, job-seeking, and finance, that boomers had given millennials and teens. To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. this is why the ok boomer meme happened pic.twitter.com/uXzSPufTYJ, when the prof says marrying your cousin “isn’t that bad” #okboomer pic.twitter.com/ivLq6Ydm2i, "OK Boomer" was one thing but this pic.twitter.com/4vz9gKp6fZ, arguing with someone:-pointless-lots of anger-they won’t listen “ok boomer”-so useful-lots of anger (from their end)-literally the best invention of all time. No one is safe: When Chlöe Swarbrick, a 25-year-old New Zealand lawmaker, was heckled by an older member of Parliament while giving a speech about a climate-crisis bill, she slipped in an "OK Boomer" from the podium. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. "Just call/go in and ask if they're hiring!" Many people became aware of OK boomer through the October New York Times article, which focused on teens who had taken the meme offline and were turning it into merchandise and fashion statements. A big cause of younger generations’ resentment toward boomers is the perception that boomers are hoarding wealth. “We are working hard to get fewer jobs,” she said. So the older generation is being told its advice is out of touch, and that boomers are out of touch, at a moment when their views have less traction in the current economic and political landscape than ever. “I feel as if they aren’t changing with the times,” Lepera told Vox. arguing with someone:-pointless-lots of anger-they won’t listen “ok boomer”-so useful-lots of anger (from their end)-literally the best invention of all time. Maybe, like Donald Fagen, the Boomers should just embrace it. The New York Times article, author Taylor Lorenz describes "ok boomer" as "Generation Z’s endlessly repeated retort to the problem of older people who just don’t get it, a rallying cry for millions of fed up kids. Everyone in my generation can relate to that experience and we’re all really frustrated by it.”, “[T]he two words feel downright poetic after years of hearing my generation blamed for ‘killing’ everything from restaurant chains to department stores to relationships,” wrote Grist’s Miyo McGinn in early November, “even as so many of the challenges people my age face — student loan debt, general economic instability, and, of course, a rapidly warming planet — are the result of short-sighted decisions made by earlier generations.”. Imagine thinking millenials give a shit about “expanded entitlement programs.” https://t.co/mnbYCfLdqQ, In an attempt to provide a retort to the meme, Myrna Blyth, the senior vice president of the senior advocacy group AARP, stated in an interview that boomers are “the people that actually have the money.” This widely shared quote came in for massive criticism and ridicule, and the AARP quickly apologized, reminding everyone that “‘isms’ that divide us are not OK.”. Beyond discussing specific issues at Deadspin, Greenwell’s essay was a larger swipe at the hubris of tech companies and corporate moguls for assuming that they, not the journalists whose media outlets they were ruining, were “the adults in the room.” This attitude prompted an eventual wholesale rejection by Deadspin’s editorial staff, as they chose to resign en masse rather than submit to the whims of the bosses they felt were out of touch. Are VSCO Girls Real, or Is It Just a TikTok Thing? Don’t get it twisted. “OK boomer,” which floated into the internet mainstream and rapidly gained traction this fall, is an attempt by millennials and Gen Z to both encapsulate this circular argument and reject it entirely. Swarbrick was castigated for bringing the meme into a political forum — but as she herself made clear in a subsequent essay for the Guardian, the meme represents a wealth of generational political concerns: “My ‘OK boomer’ comment in parliament was off-the-cuff, albeit symbolic of the collective exhaustion of multiple generations set to inherit ever-amplifying problems in an ever-diminishing window of time,” she wrote. That means people who are closed-minded or dismissive of young people, treat the up-and-coming generation as inexperienced or naive, or seem out-of-touch with the values of today's youth might have an "OK Boomer" coming at them sometime soon. The meme is a dismissal of the perceived narrow-mindedness of the Baby Boomer generation, typically used by members of Gen Z and millennials on social media platforms like Tik Tok. "Ok boomer" is one of the more controversial memes of late 2019. In a very real sense, that same tension between condescending, older authority figures and younger ones who reject them is at work in the OK boomer meme. OK, Morgan Stanley, have a terrible day. “Ok, Boomer, millennials actually earn 20 percent less than you did,” GQ declared in mid-November. Then again, it's a phrase that's definitely striking a chord. “Those choices are hurting us and our future. Urban Dictionary and our advertising partners set cookies on your computer to improve our site and the advertisements you see. Whether it’s justified or not, boomers are largely perceived as resistant to progressive change. It doesn’t help that studies have found that older people are more likely to judge younger people harshly compared to qualities they have themselves. Even after the economy recovers, advertising alone will never be enough to support it. Long story short, some millennials and members of Gen Z feel that though Baby Boomers hold nostalgia for their younger years, their political and financial actions will ultimately harm future generations. Please also read our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, which became effective December 20, 2019. According to KnowYourMeme, the origin is unknown, but its first use was reportedly on forum 4chan on September 3, 2015 and it supposedly had its Twitter debut in April 2018: In January 2019, the phrase began picking up speed and ultimately peaked in popularity by late fall thanks to a song written and produced by Jonathan Williams, a 20-year-old college student, and the subsequent "ok boomer" remix by Peter Kuli that exploded on the social media network, TikTok. Almost immediately, people rushed to sell OK boomer merchandise and attempted to trademark the phrase, and brands began to use it on social media — completely missing the inherent critique of capitalism that the meme enfolds, which led to more eyerolling. Teens on the platform used the song’s intro and chorus as a rebuttal to annoying run-ins they’d had with seniors policing or judging their behavior: Sometimes, the complaints teens are referencing in these videos are typical generational conflicts. "It's been the top selling campaign each day," says Josh Kelly, Bonfire PR Manager. Teens like Lepera understand that the OK boomer meme is driven both by their generation’s deep economic and environmental anxiety, and by progressive values that are growing firmer over time. “Today’s kids are getting things handed to them, and that’s not what the boomers like to see, so they make cocky comments because they believe that they are ‘superior,’” she said. But the phrase really took off this year on TikTok, as a rebuttal to angry rants by baby boomers about kids these days. The most notable use of "ok boomer" was by 25-year-old New Zealand politician Chloë Swarbrick who said it in response to a heckler who interrupted her speech about climate change. "Ok boomer" is one of the more controversial memes of late 2019. "OK Boomer" is a viral catchphrase used to dismiss or mock attitudes typically attributed to the baby boomer generation. By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. It’s important to understand that what really lies behind the meme is increasing economic, environmental, and social anxiety, and the feeling that baby boomers are leaving younger generations to clean up their mess. All the while, student debt remains high, and the economic scandals of the 2000s have led to millennials being more cynical than their elders about the benevolence of corporate overlords. Through 2019, the catchphrase saw extensive use in memes on Instagram, iFunny, Reddit and other social networks and maintained popularity as a reaction, primarily used to mock and debase opinions offered by baby boomers and older people in general. The website Bonfire, which carries O'Connor's shirt, says that after the New York Times story came out, the "OK Boomer" page was getting five times more traffic than any other campaign on their site. A few of these attempts have come across as just as out of touch as the meme’s targets. You can help by supporting Vox's explanatory journalism with a financial contribution today. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, 60 Photos of Princess Margaret Through the Years, Matthew McConaughey and His Mom In Conversation, We Can't Get Enough of Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet, Every Time Emma Corrin Looked Like Princess Diana, How Oprah and Barack Obama Did Their Interview, Read an Excerpt from Paola Ramos's Finding Latinx, Watch Barack Obama's Interview with Gayle King, Here's Everything You Need to Know About BTS, Dolly Parton Helped Fund a COVID-19 Vaccine, See a Preview of Barack Obama's New Memoir. Everyone in my generation can relate to that experience and we’re all really frustrated by it.”. This content is imported from {embed-name}. "OK boomer" is a catchphrase and meme used by teenagers and young adults to dismiss or mock attitudes typically associated with people born in the two decades following World War II, known as baby boomers. Boomers like Cowen are simultaneously anxious about the meme’s ageist implications, and eager to assert their wisdom over younger generations. #BoomerAdvice https://t.co/1CgnpiHbhS. Why trust us? “That’s why we’re mad, because all of the boomers made it to be like that.”. As novelist Francine Prose put it in an op-ed for the Guardian: The accepted explanation and justification for all this is that the old have ruined things for the young: we’re responsible for climate change, for income inequality, for the cascading series of financial crises, for the prohibitive cost of higher education. This broader socioeconomic aspect seems to have gotten lost as the meme spread throughout the mainstream, however. OK boomer implies that the older generation misunderstands millennial and Gen Z culture and politics so fundamentally that years of condescension and misrepresentation have led to this pointedly terse rebuttal and rejection. With all this repetitive back-and-forth — seriously, there are bingo cards — it’s no wonder the most polarizing meme of the year is a two-word dismissal of the whole debate. ", this new generation just doesn't get it pic.twitter.com/c5lvYU4LfX. But because of the cultural and political moment we’re in, the stakes feel much more fraught and high-risk than other generational clashes. And adults who are more intelligent (as approximated by a very short version of an IQ test) are more likely to say kids are less smart than they used to be.”. For frustrated millennials and teens, OK boomer is an emotionally valid response to boomer condescension, but to frustrated baby boomers, it sounds insolent and disrespectful: You say, “OK boomer,” and I hear, “your entire generation has irrevocably destroyed human civilization.” Let’s call the whole thing off? OK boomer is meant to be cutting and dismissive. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. Although it might not have made it to your own feed, the latest meme being bandied about on social media is "ok boomer." Or, if you’re a boomer, you could take Lepera’s advice: “Just like take a joke and calm down boomer. If anything, teens have been subjected to even harsher rhetorical maligning. (Another successful clothing line for Bonfire, Kelly notes, is the one with the slogan "Dr. Pepper is a woman. ”. ", A post shared by Sam Hughes (@dang_1t_sam). For can't-miss news, expert beauty advice, genius home solutions, delicious recipes, and lots more, sign up for the Good Housekeeping newsletter. This response helped further cement the meme as a dismissive retort to boomer condescension — and as it spread, its political aspects became more pointed. “My ‘ok boomer’ comment in parliament was off-the-cuff, albeit symbolic of the collective exhaustion of multiple generations set to inherit ever-amplifying problems in an ever-diminishing window of time,” she wrote in an essay for The Guardian. Media outlets opined that the meme was “dividing generations.” Gen Xers offered the “both sides” take. Instagram notes that there are more than 24,000 posts with the hashtag #okboomer, and another 1,000-plus under the variant #okayboomer. We may earn commission from the links on this page. Here's a (brief) overview of how the term grew in popularity. Our work is well-sourced, research-driven, and in-depth. On November 4, 25-year-old New Zealand politician Chloë Swarbrick used the phrase as a rebuttal to one of her older colleagues in Parliament after the man heckled her during a speech about climate change. For a long time now, the cross-generational dialogue between baby boomers and millennials has been built atop several recurring themes. This is all arguably a new iteration of the “kids these days” generational cycle that every era experiences — at the very least, the backlash to the OK boomer meme underscores the belief held by many millennials that boomers have never understood their generation. "It’s also close to breaking into one of our top 10 campaigns for this year." It’s not really about age — and it’s more complicated than just memes. Lepera, a popular TikTok teen with over 120,000 followers, made a viral OK boomer TikTok reacting to a conversation she had with her grandfather. Fair enough, I suppose, though it does seem unjust to direct one’s anger at the average middle-class senior citizen struggling to survive on social security rather than raging at, let’s say, the Koch brothers the Sacklers, the big banks, and the fossil-fuel lobbyists who have effectively dismantled the EPA. This content is imported from Twitter. In a very real sense, that same tension between condescending, older authority figures and younger ones who reject them is at work in the OK boomer meme. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. “The phrase ‘OK boomer’ is itself an implicit and indeed somewhat passive admission as to who is really in charge,” he decided. An informed public is critical right now. “OK boomer” isn’t just about the past. She used the meme to respond to his assertion that she should be working — even though she doesn’t even have a driver’s license yet, which she says makes it harder for her to find a job. We desperately need younger editorial voices at places like WaPo. They’re instead sticking to their guns about the workplace, at least according to the teens who don’t trust them. she slipped in an "OK Boomer" from the podium. Marisa LaScala covers all things parenting, from the postpartum period through empty nests, for GoodHousekeeping.com; she previously wrote about motherhood for Parents and Working Mother. Millennials who value work culture, advancement possibilities, and quality of work over quantity are finding their paths to promotions blocked by baby boomers — but when they change jobs or careers in search of these things, they find themselves branded with the false stereotype of being disloyal job-hoppers. “They feel as if they can say whatever they want about our generation and no repercussion,” Lepera told Vox, “but when we make a joke about them it’s the end of the world.”. saying “eat the rich”-depressing-been done-makes people think you’re a cannibalsaying “ok boomer”-fresh-new-hurtful to a generation that ruined the planet and economy. TikTok’s hottest meme is pitting the Youths against the Olds, but the truth about this generational standoff can be found in its shades of gray. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. “After my [OK boomer] video, I got a few comments from ‘boomers’ explaining how many jobs they had and how hard they have to work, proving the joke to be true,” she told Vox. That means people who are closed-minded or dismissive of young people, treat the up-and-coming generation as inexperienced or naive, or seem out-of … Millennials would rather complain about student debt than buckle down, work hard, and “get a job.”. O'Conner notes she's sold more than 5,000 "OK Boomer" products since October. “I talked to my dad about it and he said the reason the ‘boomers’ get so mad is because they feel as if they earned the right to say such things to us kids because they worked hard for what they have,” said 16-year-old Adriana Lepera, who talked to Vox via Instagram. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Baby boomers, however, also have to contend with their growing obsolescence. https://t.co/LKgoViy9WB pic.twitter.com/RYzRAaXPAJ, Then again, the retort is not always meant to be so cutthroat. The “OK Boomer” meme has broken into the mainstream! But more often, they’re politicized, with teens reacting to adults who are judging things like their gender expression, their financial choices, their approach to job-hunting, or their leisure activities. It's usually accompanied with an eye roll emoji, head shake, hand wave, or a combination of all of the above. The Truth About What "Eco-Friendly" Actually Means. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. For more stories like this, sign up for our newsletter. But to the TikTok teens, the boomers’ sensitivity to the meme just makes them hypocritical. 17 Safe Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving This Year, How the 'Today' Hosts Celebrate the Holidays, 30+ Best Holiday Face Masks for Any Gathering, The Truth About Apple's Black Friday Sales. A meme that is not funny. Boomers as a voting bloc are outnumbered by millennials, and there’s an advancing push among millennials for greater voter turnout; in the 2018 midterm elections, Gen Z, millennials and Gen Xers collectively edged out the voter turnout of everyone older than them. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. “They believe that how they did everything when they were younger, we should do as well.”. Nice, right? The meme is a dismissal of the perceived narrow-mindedness of the Baby Boomer generation, typically used by members of Gen Z and millennials on social media platforms like. The OK Boomer meme really started out as a fun, lighthearted joke and was never intended to harm anyone!". Oprah Magazine participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. What Does It Mean to Be Estranged, Anyway? But Blyth’s statement is a peak example of boomers missing the point. What’s largely missing from the “elders know best” logic is any acknowledgment that it’s part of the problem, and that younger, well-read adults might also have wisdom and insight into the problems they’re dealing with. It's a pejorative response used by (some) millennials and Gen Z-ers to dismiss, disregard, and/or mock those of the Baby Boomer generation, who are perceived by users as old-fashioned and out-of-touch.

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