They don’t get that taking on exorbitant student loan debt is a baseline job requirement— which was not one of their burdens in youth — and then they wonder why young folx dislike being told to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.
Then they scream about how lazy, entitled, and stupid kids are nowadays.
This all sounds like a terrible, overly exaggerated, and incredibly inaccurate stereotype, right?
That’s because it is.
If none of this applies, ‘ok boomer’ won’t anger you. That’s the trap.
‘Ok boomer’ is troll tactics 101. It taps into the simple psychological concept of ‘thou doth protest too much’, using ‘ok kiddo’ in reverse. It also banks on the idea that loud, ignorant people hate nothing more than being dismissed.
And will therefore yell more loudly, and more ignorantly, when they are.
Here’s a simple example:
Steven has been yelling about avocado toast fans for years.
There’s no end to his insistence that these breakfast warriors are entitled whiny babies simply for liking avocado toast, and that they’re basically Hitler.
Everybody knows Steven, or someone like Steven.
A: Ignore it. I’m not like Steven, so I don’t have to prove them wrong. They’re probably misunderstanding me or they’re joking.
Or, do you:
B: Get mad about it, then start screaming about avocado toast aficionados, thus proving I deserved the ‘ok Steven’.
Overblown reactions prove ‘ok boomer’ hits the mark for the people it clearly applies to.
If you’re mad about ‘ok boomer’, compared to the much larger and longer-lasting torrent of ‘millennial’ dissing, and fight against something that doesn’t even apply to you, you prove its point.
That’s how the trap works.
That’s what all this means.
That’s what you aren’t getting.
And that’s why it works.
It’s about what someone’s reaction truly says about them.
Now, I will be the first person on the front-lines to defend the solid boomers out there (I know plenty), and reinforce that generational stereotypes don’t hold water most of the time.
I truly think behavior boils down to value systems, not generational lines drawn in the proverbial sand.
But after years of dealing with ignorant media hit-pieces, the ‘lazy millennial stereotype’, and the vocal, unignorable presence of some boomers who refuse to engage in good faith…
I can’t help but feel proud of the Gen Z kids who coined the term.
They held up a mirror with just two words, and let it do its job.
I also truly think that their brilliant entrepreneurial spirits are more underestimated than anyone realizes.
See, us longwinded folx take the time to try to write out articles like this, hoping it will teach someone something.
However, the people that most need to read articles like this, won’t.
Or, they only read the headlines, and write an outrage-comment, thus learning nothing at all.
Gen Z cracked the code that millennials have been struggling with forever.
Finally, a two-word phrase has done more than any amount of studies, any reasoning, any Medium article, or any news expose could:
It picked up a mirror, and simply reflected.
Then, it told the truth. No matter what it was.