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Is It OK To Say "OK, Boomer?"
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Is It OK To Say "OK, Boomer?"

Two weeks ago, 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.

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Comments (40)
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What is wrong with referring to people by their name (if known)rather than a "descriptive" that can be perceived as a negative?

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It is not OK. Seniors get passed over for many jobs, even though they have the experience! It is so sad how many jobs I have personally missed out on because of my age. No one bothers to ask what I know, if I am valuable. Few employers want to take a chance on someone my age. They don't even know how much I can help them or their company. Also they don't know that Seniors can train younger staff members!

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It is my opinion that we have become too 'pc' and way to over-sensitive. It's a sobriquet, like saying "old timer," " young-un," etc. It's not like a slur or denigration (of course it can be construed as such .... so can a Rolls or Bentley be call "a car." It doesn't insult me (though the person USING the word might!) and it doesn't offend me. It's how people TREAT me that matters to me. So, If you think I've earned the title, go ahead, call me a 'boomer.' I've earned it.

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No, it is sooooo.... disrespectful!! I cannot believe how many parents have raised their children to have no respect for the older generation -- heck, they don't even respect their own parents -- just listen to the way they speak to them!

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Consider the source and ignore it. After a couple of decades in education I have finally accepted the fact that I can't fix stupid.

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