OK, Boomer

The phrase addresses cultural differences between generations

Marissa Pekular, West Hills Editor

Within the last couple of years, a social and political rift has developed between the Baby Boomers and the younger generations, specifically Millennials and Gen Z. This growing conflict highlights age-old generational differences in culture, ideologies and even communication.
As today’s younger generations became fed up with the differing perspectives of their older counterparts, the phrase “OK Boomer,” became popular among Millennials. Millennials and Gen Z are frustrated as they try to navigate an economy they did not create.
Younger people are being forced to spend impossible amounts on college expenses, only to graduate with little job security and massive debt to pay off. College tuition costing $20,000 in the year 1980 would approximately cost $243,803 today for an equivalent purchase.
The cost of college tuition has increased significantly faster compared to the overall inflation rate of 2.94 percent during the period.
In short, college costs significantly more for millennials and Gen Z compared to the expenses that “Boomers” had to pay. College is now a privilege that not all younger people have access to, instead of something that can be accessed simply through hard work.
This generational rift is also vividly felt in the political realm. One of the most controversial issues is the debate over climate change. Generally, Baby Boomers not to think as green or be as environmentally sensitive as younger generations.
For example, many Millennials were angered as the Majority-Boomer White House recently announced that it would withdraw from the Paris climate accord next fall. This means that the United States will no longer be a part of the global effort to combat climate change.
Younger generations are prioritizing sustainability in efforts to save the climate from the destruction of decades past. Boomers will not be around to feel the consequences of their decisions regarding the environment. This is one of the most hot-button issues between the younger and older generations for this reason alone. But what about the Boomers perspective?
Many Baby Boomers object their stereotypes of being outdated and not in touch with the economy they created. After all, we do have them to thank for Civil Rights legislation, the Women’s Rights movement, amazing music, and many more monumental events that are integral to the American way of life.
This divide comes from a place of stubborn differences and clashing cultures. Boomers and Millennials need to practice compassion as a way to work toward a more inclusive and productive society.
We may have the older generations to thank for many great achievements, but Boomers also need to understand that Millennials and Gen Z have different obstacles to face that are specific to their generations.