Boomers vs. Millennials and Gen Z

Written By Luke Mongelli, Staff Writer

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In New Zealand, a 25 year old lawmaker by the name of Chlöe Swabrick, presented a climate speech in front of the UK parliament. During that speech, a fellow member of parliament began heckling her to which Swabrick responded with the quip, “Okay Boomer.”

Swabrick quickly caught flak for the statement, and it blew up on social media. While it seems like a harmless comeback, it was not received as such. Many of the people associated with the baby boomer era were quick to call out Swabrick, regarding the statement as the “n-word of ageism.”  But why does it have that much of a negative connotation?

“Okay Boomer” is a term that is mostly used by Millennials and Generation Z and is directed towards Baby Boomers, or people born between 1946 and 1965. It is considered to be the opposite of what Baby Boomers and people of Generation X have been doing to Millennials over the past 20 years. Older people have been known to attack someone’s young age and inexperience if someone’s viewpoints do not align with their own, and all that “Okay Boomer” is, is the same idea with a different mask.

When someone says “Okay, Boomer,” what they are trying to say is, your argument holds no merit due to your outdated belief system, and your ignorance of mistakes made in the past. Much the same as if an older person was to call someone out mid-argument for being a millennial. It holds no stake in the argument, but they point it out to belittle their opponent.

The only difference is, millennials have been enduring the onslaught of comments and having their opinions cast to the side simply because of their age, with very little complaint.  But the minute the younger generations call out the older ones, it blows up in the media and all of the sudden it is a war between the generations. I think we all can agree, as petty as this is, it needs to stop.

This verbal war between the generations is nothing new. When the Baby Boomers were younger, they had a saying. “Don’t trust anyone over 30.” Then along came Generation X, and as time went on and technology advanced, so did viewpoints. They disagreed with the Boomers, then came along Millennials, and neither the Boomers or people in Gen x agreed with them. Then after the turn of the century came Gen Z. Millennials and Gen Z generally hold similar beliefs, as do Boomers and people in Gen X.

The reason we are pitted against one another is because as the world progresses, no one wants to go with it. No one wants to accept change in the world, they want to keep everything the way it is currently in their lives. So when a Baby Boomer or people in Gen X say something that might not align with newer generations viewpoints, there is grounds for an argument.

Millennials and Gen Z are also at fault. They are often times seen blaming older generations for misfortunes that we currently have in the world today, like climate change and high college tuition. More times than not, it is not the entire generations’ fault for these problems, but we as a newer generation do not really have anything else to blame.

Both parties are at fault here, and the cycle of petty name calling will just continue if we do not work together to better the world for ourselves, and the generations after us. And if any of this offends you, or you don’t want to change the way things are and continue to not get along, there is only one thing I have to say to you: “Okay, Boomer.” 

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