The old and the young have been feuding for as long as we can remember, and the newer generations may have found their new warhead: “Ok, boomer”. But where did this come from, when did this begin, and why has it reached this point?
The term “Ok, Boomer” has been used at a startling rate in late 2019, and multiple sources of social media have enabled this rapid spread. With its oldest recorded use being on 4chan on September 3rd, 2015 “Lol ok boomer :)” by anonymous, the popular platform of Tik Tok gave these terms entrance into the mainstream. Videos with the punchline of “Ok, Boomer” has reached over 27.4K originally created videos, becoming a viral sensation. The audio for this was created by 19-year-old Artist Peter Kuli, dating back to the 15th of October, 2019 on Youtube. This catchphrase has since widened its sphere of influence. Tuesday, November 5th, 25-year-old Australian politician Chloe Swarbrick shot down hecklers with an “Ok, Boomer” on the floor of the Australian Parliament during her speech on the importance of stricter climate change policy. She said “In the year 2050, I will be 56 years old; yet, right now, the average age of this 52nd Parliament is 49 years old,” hitting the nail right on the head that these older generations including Boomers holding government positions will not outlive the problems they vote on today.
So why did our generation vibe with this so much? The answer might lie in the situation we, as Gen Z, face today. As young adults in the center of New York City, we are well familiar with the power of protest and rallies; students from our own school have occupied Union Square in protests for gun law reform in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas school shooting in solidarity with young people nation-wide. Last September, we marched from Foley Square to Battery Park demanding action against climate change with 16-year-old Greta Thunberg at the helm; Generation Z has been actively fighting to build the world they are going to live for. The baby boomers, born between the years of 1946-1964, are approximately 55-77 years old today. The average age of the 116th congress was 57.6 years and representatives in the senate were 62.9. This makes up the people who the American youth, for far too long, have felt flippantly dismissed, including issues on gun control, abortion laws, education, gender, sexuality, healthcare, in so that responding with “Ok, Boomer” seems as equally flippant and effective in ending the discussion to a generation that never seems to listen.
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