“OK Boomer” is the insult that Gen Z is hurling at my generation, the baby boomers. There’s even a t-shirt for that. And they’ve got a great deal to be frustrated about. The planet certainly is circling the drain. There is more and more of a wealth divide. And we, as a nation, seem to be more polarized than ever before.
The youth of today feel that we Baby Boomers are completely out of touch, and that we’re selfish. They lump us all into one group, just as we did with our elders. (Never trust anyone over 30. Remember that?)
I always thought the concept of disparaging the older generation was rather silly, because eventually, we all turn 30. So you are encouraging prejudice against a group that you eventually join. And while Gen Z will never become boomers, they will someday be older and considered out of touch by the generations that follow. That’s just how it works. We all enter the meat grinder of life, and we all come out the other send looking pretty much the same.
The problem with OK Boomer is that it makes us even more polarized. By attempting to dismiss us as the cause of all your woes, one simple fact is being overlooked. A whole heck of a lot of us are worried about global warming, too. And we’re also frustrated with the 1 percent. And most of us did not vote for Trump. We feel helpless and outraged, too.
Don’t throw the boomer out with the bathwater. Many people in my generation are very experienced environmental activists. Many have dedicated their lives to helping others, and have tried to make the world a better place, not a worse one. It isn’t easy.
Many of us, believe it or not, have as much to teach as we have to learn. We’d all be better off if we teamed up rather than fell for the divide and conquer routine. We could make an formidable team.
The worst thing about OK Boomer is that it makes you sound dismissive and petulant. Like 13-year-olds saying “whatever.” (Do they still say “talk to the hand”? I don’t know. I’m soooooo out of touch.)
How is condescension in the form of a catchy slogan going to improve things? If you dismiss me with an “OK Boomer”, I’ll point out that I’ll be out from under foot sooner or later. Perhaps by then you’ll be in touch enough to miss me when I’m gone, and realize that you’ll catch up to me eventually.
A big thanks to StoryCorps for inspiring this blog and my first book. http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5