“OK Boomer”


Illustration by Erik Nelson Rodriguez.

Megan Gill, In Depth Editor

Recently, younger people have adopted a new meme: “OK Boomer.” Although it is targeted at baby boomers (born 1946-1964), it can be said to any older person who is attempting to preach about something their generation hasn’t practiced.

The meme originated in October 2015 on Reddit, but did not become popular until four years later. In October 2019 “OK Boomer,” a remix by Peter Kuli became popular on TikTok, a popular social media platform. Kuli uploaded the song to Spotify, and it streamed over 700,000 times in a month. Due to the fact that the age range on TikTok mostly consists of younger people, the meme began to become more popular, and more people began to use the phrase.

“OK Boomer” isn’t meant to be a derogatory term; in most cases, it is only light-hearted fun aimed at those who are less proficient with technology and/or seemingly oblivious to current trends.

Yet the meme is also meant to get back at baby boomers and older people for their put downs on younger generations. After calling young people “snowflakes,” and shaming them about their use of technology, “OK Boomer” is  only a carefree way of getting a laugh out of the situation and bridging the generational divide in an attempt to get older folks to see the world through younger eyes.

One of baby boomers’ main criticisms on younger generations is that our use of technology is detrimental to our learning. As commented by Kurtis Conner, a YouTuber who analyzes current cultural trends, it’s a classic case of “phone bad, book good.”

Even if the meme is only meant to be fun, some baby boomers get offended after hearing the “OK Boomer” meme.

Bob Lonsberry, a 61-year old American radio talk show host, called the new meme “ageist.”  He also said that “being hip and flip does not make bigotry ok, nor is a derisive epithet acceptable because it is new.”

Boomers dubbing the new meme as “ageist” do not fully understand the reasoning behind the meme. Baby boomers have been oblivious to their actions and how it affects the world around them. Now, younger generations have to fx the wreckage baby boomers have left in their path.

Climate change and the collapsing economy all fall on younger generations, and baby boomers continue to shame them. The solution to this feud between baby boomers and younger generations is simple: “OK Boomer”.