If you've been on the Internet in the last couple of weeks, you may have come across one particular phrase in multiple scenarios, "Ok boomer."
Whether it be in a meme, or as a retort - "Okay boomer" is becoming increasingly common, as more and more people pick up on it. But what is the now-viral phrase?
What essentially started as people using it as a retort in a jest, actually turned into more than jest. The current population of younger people living on the planet feel that the Baby Boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964) and making up a significant part of the part of the earth's population, are always patronizing and criticizing the younger generation.
Earlier, Millennials (1981 – 1996) and Gen Z(mid-late 1990's) responded to taunts like their generations being blamed for a lot of things by responding with facts, and examples of how it was the Baby Boomer generation that ruined things for them, but now they're afraid their logic is falling on deaf ears, perhaps literally.
A recent New York Times article mentioned how people responding with 'Ok Boomer' was the 'last straw' severing ties between the generations. Titled "‘OK Boomer’ Marks the End of Friendly Generational Relations," about how "Gen Z has finally snapped over climate change and financial inequality."
This article on Twitter generated enough backlash and effectively said it wasn't a phrase, that ended generation ties, but the years of blame and zero accountability for their own actions.
Boomers took time from burning down the Earth to call Gen X slackers, Millennials snowflakes, and Gen Z Millennials, but just now friendly relations are over? Boomers gonna Boomer!
— Matt Pociask (@matt_pociask) October 29, 2019
"OK Boomer" marks the end of friendly generational relations? It wasn't the 10 million articles blaming poor, underpaid millennials for killing every industry? https://t.co/eVd1NBWZTh
— Jeremy C. Shipp (@JeremyCShipp) October 29, 2019
Boomers: “Grow a thicker skin, millennial snowflakes!”
Millennial: “lol ok boomer”
Boomers: “This is literally a hate crime.”
— Rabbit Cohen's Dad's Monster (@BathysphereHat) November 4, 2019
Sure, it's "OK Boomer" that's "the end of friendly generational relations" - not the last 20 years of Boomer media like the NYT shitting on young people for being dissatisfied with or struggling under the problems their generation created.
— Isarii, Holding the Line in the War on Christmas (@ethanmacfie) October 29, 2019
boomers: *destroyed the economy, many are racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, antisemitic, islamophobic, ableist, classist.etc*
millennials and zoomers: ok boomer
boomers: this is a HATE CRIME
— ✡️🏳️🌈 (@koshersemite) November 4, 2019
But it's also not a generalization.
"Ok, boomer" is similar to "Men are thrash" in the way that it's obviously not a literal blanket generalization, and shouldn't be regarded as such.
Rather, it's a criticism against a particular attitude and way of thinking—also enabled and supported by privilege.
— Jaia Yap (@jaiayap) November 7, 2019
That being said, here are a few examples of the times when it's perfectly acceptable to say "Ok boomer."
1. When your distant relative meets you at a family function and asks about your future. On your vague responses, she tells you she was already 'settled' and had 'XX number of kids' by your age. And what are you doing?
can’t wait to say ok boomer to one of my family members at thanksgiving dinner
— Madison Beer (@madisonbeer) November 15, 2019
2. When someone blames you for the economic slow-down. You're causing problems now by simply doing nothing, did you know? Alternatively, you can just choose to cancel yourself. (/sarcasm.)
Various industries are down because of the negative attitude of millennials. Please reply with #BoycottMillennials and tell us the reasons how the millennials are impacting textile, FMCG, auto etc. Nirmala ma'am will be closely monitoring this hashtag.
— Rofl Gandhi 2.0 (@RoflGandhi_) September 10, 2019
3. When someone in a position of power refuses to accept climate change is real.
25-year-old New Zealand lawmaker Chlöe Swarbrick was giving a speech supporting a climate crisis bill when she was heckled by an older member of Parliament. She simply said, "OK boomer," and kept talking, unfazed. https://t.co/LKgoViy9WB pic.twitter.com/RYzRAaXPAJ
— CNN (@CNN) November 6, 2019
4. When they decide to make your life choices for you, for some reason. And tell you what's acceptable, and what's not.
BTW, if you’re over the age of 18 (and that’s really pushing it) and you judge people of their interest it’s probably time to reevaluate your life. No one finds it entertaining or relevant. #kpop #OkBoomer https://t.co/oBTKSqgldV
— lena misses wings :( (@247jhs) November 15, 2019
5. Most importantly, when you're better than someone at their job, and they 'call you out' on it.
— xQc (@xQc) November 15, 2019
And if you're not feeling particularly excited about wasting your precious vocabulary, you can always let your clothes speak for you. There's official "OK Boomer" merchandise. But that may not be the end. The word 'Karen,' associated with bob-haircut style women at supermart who want to use coupons and 'talk to the manager' are now being called the 'Karen generation.'
Gen x is now called the Karen Generation and honestly I think I’m ok with that.
— Oscar probably (@OhShitOscar) November 14, 2019