OK Boomer: war cry or TikTok joke?

OK Boomer: war cry or TikTok joke?

by Sarah C.

Recently, a cultural phenomenon, known as “Ok Boomer”, has taken over the social scene amongst teenagers. Often the phrase is flung by teens towards a person born within the Baby Boomer generation, a term used for those born in 1950-1966; however, it can be generally used towards anyone over thirty or anyone with non-progressive attitudes. 

As this phrase has been popularized, adults have begun to take notice and become offended whenever the phrase is used towards them. 

“My mom thinks it is so disrespectful. It’s kind of like calling your mom by their first name,” said junior Thalia S. 

Many adults feel the same way. Recently, a New York Times article deemed the phrase “the end of friendly generational-relations”. But is it that deep?

Is “Ok, Boomer” really a war cry? Or is it just the new, trendy joke? 

Opinions seemed to be split amongst two camps, those who think it’s just a joke, and those who think it’s a political statement.

“Of course it’s a war cry!” said a junior at Duxbury High School. “Look at what the Boomers have done to our economy, to our world, look at our environment! We need something to clap back at them!”

Junior Serena F. disagrees, saying, “I think it’s hilarious. It’s obviously a joke, definitely not a “war cry”. It’s a TikTok meme.”

“Ok Boomer” began on TikTok, a social media platform that shares short comedic clips. Although starting on a comedy platform, the phrase has made an appearance in everyday life. 

Several videos have arisen of students using the term towards their teacher in class. The outcome of this leads to an aggressive outburst from the teacher.

“I have never been so disrespected in my life!” yelled one teacher in a video posted to TikTok and YouTube.  

The phrase has also wiggled its way into the New Zealand Parliament. 

Chloe Swarbrick replied “Ok Boomer” to one of her colleagues after he interrupted her during her speech. She received a lot of backlash for her disrespect of another parliament official, but Swarbrick claims that no ill intent was meant behind the words. 

As the phrase slowly seeps into the political scene, it’s hard to tell whether or not “Ok Boomer” will remain a friendly joke, or turn into a political statement.

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