Ok Boomer and the Generational Divide

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Shannon Ryan, Writer

“Ok boomer”, a phrase that has spread like wildfire across the internet and left many huge controversies in its wake while also highlighting the divide between older and younger generations. 

While it is well known by younger generations, particularly millennials (people born between 1981 and 1996) and generation z (people born between 1996 and after), there are still people who may not understand it. In summary, “ok boomer” is a dismissive phrase used by the younger generations usually as a joke to mock baby boomers for being out of touch with modern society.

While “ok boomer” is generally meant as a joke, it is often seen as an insult and has sparked plenty of outrage as a result. Charles Foster, a senior at Dansville highschool, gave his view on the meme.

“As someone with a younger perspective on this meme, I think that it’s a funny joke,” said Foster. “It’s clever in certain aspects if used properly, but in other instances, it can be disrespectful.”

 In surprising contrast, Mason High School teacher and millennial, Jacob Ward, gave a very different response to the meme. 

“I think it’s dismissive. They’re trying to pass off experience on to a younger generation,” Ward said. “I think it’s irresponsible if we shrug off what they’re saying.” 

When asked the question of whether it is ageist or justified, the two responses given were that it could be neither or both. Unlike Ward who sees the joke as only disrespectful, Foster sees both the humor behind it and it’s disrespectful nature. Many jokes are double edged swords, they can be funny or they can be hurtful.

“I think humor is relative to each individual,” stated Foster. “This is a way to poke fun at  both the good and bad things the baby boomer generation brought, as well as poke fun at old people. That might seem insensitive, but we’ll all be old someday. I believe it’s completely fair play, because the young generations of the future will make jokes at our expense just the same.”

This divide has been a key factor in society for many years now and the impact is felt everywhere. There will be consequences if the divide continues, but what those consequences will be is not clear. 

Ward’s beliefs on the effects is simple, “I think it would just be another cog in the wheel that just keeps turning,” said Ward. Foster, however, has a different idea.

“If the generational divide continues, our younger generation will lack the wisdom the older generation has to offer,” said Foster. “But it could also be good because we become a stronger and more independent with struggle, and struggle inspires learning.”