Claire’s Corner: OK Boomer deepens generational divides


Sneha Sash

Coppell High School Principal Laura Springer and The Sidekick executive editorial page editor Claire Clements stand together. Clements believes using the phrase “OK Boomer” should simply be a harmless joke, not something to divide generations.

Claire Clements, Executive Editorial Page Editor

Claire’s Corner: executive editorial page editor Claire Clements spills the tea on the latest happenings in the world, ranging from pop culture to politics.

“OK Boomer.”

It’s what you say when your grandpa claims your generation is always on your phones too much and then asks for your help with the Wi-Fi router. It’s what you say when a random lady at Starbucks complains about how long it takes to make a drink, when she took 20 minutes to order.

While the phrase originated as a response to Baby Boomers, the generation born between the late 40’s and early 60’s, it is now often used for anyone who’s older and considered close-minded by Generation Z, commonly defined as the generation born in the late 90’s and early 00’s.

We live in a time where the growth of social media, and therefore interconnectedness, has made the development of generational mindsets easier, specifically with millenials and Gen Z.

As a result, we’re also living in a time where the relationship between generations is becoming more and more strained. It’s not unsurprising – what is happening around us is going to change the mindset of each generation and thus make our opinions different.

Boomers tend to view the news as fake, which many Gen Zs may roll their eyes at. But a lot of Baby Boomers grew up with former President Richard Nixon and trusting the government, or much else, does not come as easy to them. Currently, Gen Z is the most diverse generation ever – the way we see race, versus our former generations, is just naturally going to be different.

For example, my parents (a Baby Boomer and a member of Generation X) and I are very different in the way we treat servers – not that my parents are rude or hateful, but they are a bit more picky about what makes a good server. For me, I don’t really care – I understand they’re just trying to do their job, and sometimes things happen and everyone makes mistakes. This does not go for everyone, but it does say something about the different viewpoints of each generation.

Or, the way we view mental health – I view mental health as a serious issue that can plague anyone, while my parents believe that it does not really happen to everyone. Members of older generations might view me in the wrong, while members of younger generations might view my parents in the wrong.

But my parents did not grow up in a time when mental health was talked about, and I did.

Neither of us is wrong – we just have different opinions based on the way we grew up.

We cannot blame each generation or insult each generation for the way they think because we cannot change what happened in their time period.

It’s something everyone needs to remember, regardless of the generation we grew up in – the events of each generation is going to change the mindset of each generation, and we’re not always going to get along. Rather than flinging insults at each other, even if they are meant to be harmless, we need to remember our differences and use them instead to grow and create new solutions to the issues each generation is facing.

Using “OK Boomer” as a joke may be fun, but remember to add some respect to it, just as we expect and want older generations to respect us.

Follow Claire (@cclements825) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.