By Preston Lim
If you’ve been on the internet for a while, you’ve probably heard of the term “OK Boomer.” If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically Millennials (people born in 1981 through 1996) and Gen Z (people born in 1995 through 2015) retaliating against the largely conservative viewpoints of Baby Boomers- people born from 1946 to 1964.
The origin of this phrase, like so much this year, is TikTok- a social media app where people can insert audio and show their reactions to it or do dances to the music. On TikTok, the main instigator is a viral audio clip where a white-haired man disses the newer generations saying “The millennials and Generation Z have the Peter Pan syndrome, they don’t ever want to grow up.” Countless reactions and works of art starring the phrase “OK Boomer.” sums up Millenial and Gen Z opinions on the issue.
In essence, OK Boomer is the way of disregarding the people who voice traditionally conservative views. However, “Boomer” doesn’t just apply to the older generation- it’s anyone who doesn’t like change, doesn’t understand technology, or doesn’t understand equality.
Shannon O’Connor, 19, designed a shirt and hoodie (right) with the phrase plastered across it like the “Thank You” plastic bags you get at grocery stores. She says: “A lot of them (Baby Boomers) don’t believe in climate change or that people can’t get jobs with dyed hair; 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.”