“Ok boomer”: Hilarious roast or angry slur?

Lidia Vassar
Staff Writer

Have the kids taken things too far with their memes? Many boomers seem to think so. With the rise of the “Ok boomer” meme I’ve been seeing radical headlines left and right about some “intergenerational war” between boomers and the younger generations. But are people really that mad? I really can’t say.

I’m sure we all know at least one older person in our lives who will leap at any chance to tell you you’re being disrespectful. It’s a common mentality that with ages comes respect, and anyone who challenges that norm should be put in their place. But it’s important to realize that there’s a difference in the respect that is expected from you and the respect that is earned. 

The “Ok boomer” meme is a response to some of the impractical and honestly just offensive things that younger generations have been told by some of the respect-demanders. Things like “I was making $2 an hour at your age and had a house by 20!” and “millen nials are wasting all their money on avocado toast!” are really useless additions to a conversation, but seem unavoidable when it comes to talking to older relatives and random sociable strangers.

Speaking as someone from a younger age group, I can definitely relate to how attacked some of these boomers are feeling. It doesn’t feel great to be stereotyped and judged by a meme, whether it’s on Facebook or told to you as some piece of sage wisdom. No one wants to be told by someone else “I know you better than yourself,” or have it implied that they’re a failure or social outcast in some form or another. 

It’s kind of ironic, because the current theme within memes is relatability. How sad you are, how stupid you think something is, weird meta/surreal stuff, quotes and still frames from popular media – a lot of things that bring strangers across the internet together. It’s common to assume that the older generations really don’t understand memes, which I think makes the burn of “Ok boomer” that much worse.

It makes fun of how defensive and particular boomers are (or at least, the stereotype of boomers), and uses that to dismantle any argument against it. How can you get defensive about something when they’re already making fun of you for being defensive? Well, you take it up five notches.

Now, I really don’t believe that any significant percentage of boomer-age individuals is actually ranting and rioting about this. Honestly, I don’t think many are even aware of it. This makes the constant screenshots of headlines about generational feuds that much funnier. But please, if you have a sweet mom or dad who’s actually feeling a bit hurt by the “ok boomer” craze, make sure to tell them that you’re only making fun of the not-cool boomers.

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