OPINION: ‘OK Boomer’ is OK to say

Illustration by Sammy Newman

Emma Schirmer, Contributing Writer

I’ve definitely said the phrase ‘OK boomer’ quite a bit.

It isn’t hostility. It is frustration. Honestly, “boomer” has become all about the mindset, not necessarily the age. The phenomena of the phrase “OK boomer” can be applied to anyone — it’s just something that is said in response to an outdated way of thinking. 

It’s a comeback to the mindset that the boomer generation usually displays. Many continue to deny climate change, LGBTQ+ rights and financial equality, and have no problem speaking about it in any conversation. The antiquated thoughts of a generation from the past when we’re moving toward the future get a little annoying after a while. 

So, we went off. And honestly, who could blame us? 

Recently, backlash has arisen in response to the phrase. Some workplaces even have banned “OK Boomer,” deeming it ageist. In one email from CBS, “As the phrase enters our vocabulary, the use of ‘ok boomer’ in the workplace could be sufficient evidence of age-based hostility to support a lawsuit under the ADEA.”

Over the summer I worked an internship in an office full of old white male boomers who had no problem telling me how unrealistic and entitled my generation was in the workplace. So, the fact that boomers can say those things in professional settings, but us Gen Zs are reprimanded for daring to call them out for their bitter regressive attitude, is a bit absurd to me.

Boomers say we’re suffering from “Peter Pan syndrome,” they call us “snowflakes” and tell us to “grow up and live in the real world.” Meanwhile, they stubbornly perpetuate the idea that climate change isn’t real and that the financial burdens they created aren’t a problem the government should solve. 

Well, let’s quell one thing: Gen Z and millennial will have a lower quality of life than previous generations. Factoring in college debt and inflation, the price of health care, the rapidly deteriorating state of the earth, the higher rates of depression and suicide than in the past and omnipresent political polarization, I wouldn’t call us “snowflakes.” We are inheriting a world full of economic and political instabilities and uncertainties created by boomers.

So those boomers think Gen Zs are lazy children addicted to technology. In reality, we’re the catalysts for future innovation. We look at the world from a different perspective, standing up for our rights and stepping out of the box. 

We are the future. We are the ones propelling this country forward. If older people can’t take the heat, then they don’t need to be dishing it out.

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