The catchphrase “OK Boomer” started off as a dismissive response on social media towards the baby boomer generation in response to their constant complaints towards Millennials and Generation Z in 2015. The phrase received controversy for being offensive to older generations, but “OK boomer” isn’t as deep as everyone is making it out to be.
The phrase was never problematic to begin with, but it’s taken on a completely different and unintended meaning, specifically because it includes boomer. But “boomer” is nothing more than a common and shortened way of referring toward the baby boomer generation, so it’s invalid to claim that it’s an ageist slur, and it’s essentially the same as referring to any young person as a millennial.
It’s also not like “OK Boomer” is the first time that generations have teased one another. We can’t deny that older people tend to complain about and criticize millennials and Gen Z for just about anything, from technology and fads, evidently seen in how they’ve taken offense to “OK boomer,” a social media meme with no inherent or intended evil meaning.
Let’s also take note that some from the younger generations are also taking “OK boomer” too seriously. The phrase isn’t a “battle cry” or reference to an older person’s political and economic situation. It was originally supposed to be thrown around as a light-hearted and quick rebuff to criticism and nothing more
While most of the hatred and controversy surrounding “OK Boomer” comes from baby boomers themselves, it’s also blown up because the New York Times published an article that analyzes how the catchphrase affects each generation. However, the implications of “‘OK Boomer’ mark[ing] the end of friendly generational relations,” as stated by New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz, is an overstatement.
There will always be a point of contention between different age groups no matter the time period, and by the time millennials and Gen Z are old, we’ll probably be teased by the generations after us and tease them back. It makes no sense to overreact over an innocent phrase that means almost nothing.