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Is It OK To Say "OK, Boomer?"

It sounds like a cheeky way to blow off the opinion of someone older than you—but does this phrase cross the line when it comes to snark?

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Staff Writers 67 Comments
Is It OK To Say "OK, Boomer?"
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The New York Times published a piece that has had far-ranging effects and stoked inter-generational ire just by focusing on what could be viewed as an innocuous phrase: “OK, boomer.” The article explains the rising popularity of responding to older people’s opinions by saying “OK, boomer,” referring to their belonging to the Baby Boomer generation. The phrase began among Zoomers and is meant to encapsulate the angst of Gen Z when it comes to the world they’ve inherited—and there may be some legitimacy. Millennials were the first generation worse off than the generation before them. To quote the article:

A lot of [Baby Boomers] don’t believe in climate change or don’t believe people can get jobs with dyed hair, and a lot of them are stubborn in that view. Teenagers just respond, ‘Ok, boomer.’ It’s like, we’ll prove you wrong, we’re still going to be successful because the world is changing.

 

The phrase has gained so much attention that one entrepreneurial Zoomer put a design of the words on clothing and sold more than $10,000 worth of merchandise.

Following the article, “OK, boomer” seems to have captured the cultural moment. A 25 year-old politician in New Zealand used it to silence older hecklers, The Times’ own opinion column weighed in on it, and the Internet is still abuzz with the echo of “OK, boomer” fallout weeks after the article was published.

But is it OK to say “OK, boomer?” Detractors say that at best it’s stereotypical, at worst it’s ageism. Baby Boomer proponents say that it’s a flippant phrase and shouldn’t be given more weight than it deserves.

Where do you fall in the debate? Is it OK for teens and young adults to say “OK, boomer” or are they crossing a line? Let us know in the comments.

Date posted: Oct 17, 2022
Staff Writers

Staff Writers are content experts, community members, educational partners, and bloggers. Articles are reviewed by AgeFriendly.org.

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It's OK IF you're good with displaying your ignorance of history.

The Baby Boomer Generation marched, demonstrated, rallied, wrote, spoke, and engaged in a multitude of other activities that made today's world a far better place in terms of unjust discrimination of many kinds. Anyone who doesn't know this needs to go back to school and learn about a generation that was far more badass than they'll likely ever be.

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As long as they don't get upset when I respond, "Whatever, Punk!"

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Like all epithets, I guess it depends on how it relates to you. If you are using it to show your lack of respect for someone who is older, and therefore deserves it, it is a good thing. History has shown that it doesn't matter how you treat someone you have no respect for, and that lets you get away with all sorts of behavior, even up to the point of atrocity and mass murder. Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?

If, on the other hand, you find "Boomer" used as a pejorative to describe you, you can reappropriate the term and use it to show solidarity with your brothers and comrades in arms as you face your oppressors.

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My shirt says: Better than OK!

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It's not alright to say "OK Boomer". The term Boomer identifies us by when we were born but the OK makes it derogatory. It's not right to categorize an entire generation as the same.

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