"OK Boomer" meme only widens the generation gap

By MICHAEL CAPRIO
On November 20, 2019

Photo courtesy of Birmingham Phil, Flickr

The divide between the older and younger generations has become more noticeable as time has gone on. It appears to have hit a head now with the new “OK Boomer” meme. 

Generation Z and millennials’ new method in defending themselves comes off a bit immature. Are some of the older generations’ ideas/methods outdated? Sure, there is no denying that. But we also don’t have all the answers either.

This new meme almost comes off as an insult to the older people, basically calling them out of date and essentially useless.

We need to be able to have a conversation, which is sadly a forgotten art in today’s world. Difficult conversations often get ignored or turn into shouting matches to see which side can yell their point the loudest, instead of finding the truth in both their arguments.

This approach does not work in my eyes. It comes off as a blame game between two generations for who is more responsible for contributing to the world’s problems and ailments. It should be easy for everyone to see that both generations are responsible for different issues based on the context of the time period they grew up in.

Boomers act a certain way because of the world they were brought up in. If we can take a step back to understand the history of the era they were alive in, it can give us a better idea of how they function. They grew up in time periods where the technology of today was a wild fantasy.

Maybe it is a bit bizarre for them to see people raking in money off social media platforms; maybe it is even more bizarre to them to see how an entire generation of young people live for social media validation that contributes to negative mental health. 

Again, we are not without our flaws, as the younger generation, we are responsible for taking care of a whole laundry list of issues that have developed during our time. A lot of these issues have been caused because of how we misuse technology and social media. 

Instead of wasting time and energy yelling at each other over which generation is “the best,” we should have a civilized conversation that acknowledges that we all have issues we need to work out as human beings.

If both sides can realize their flaws, accept them and work towards eliminating them with help from both sides, maybe we could actually achieve something. Maybe even something that changes the world for the better, but that will never happen unless we start a civilized conversation where we are not afraid to admit our faults. 

Besides all that, fighting takes away from focusing on the real issues at hand. Fighting distracts us from the real issues that should be discussed right now. Both sides aren’t perfect, and the blame game accomplishes nothing.

Instead of coming up with witty zingers or hashtags to throw subtle jabs at our elders, we should be using that energy towards unifying the generations.

It’s okay to understand where different generations are coming from, but to vilify them completely is immature and dangerous.

 

mcaprio1@ramapo.edu

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