In terms of the generational divide, the year 2019 will be remembered for one phrase.
Young adults decided to start dismissing older generations by using the phrase "OK, Boomer" as a way to reverse the stereotype of who is actually entitled and a bit prideful. It popped up frequently on social media in particular and during one political speech.
Recently, a satire site called the Babylon Bee posted a fake article about the phrase, writing about a Baby Boomer who calls 911 because of chest pain and heart issues. The 911 operator scoffs at the caller and says "OK, Boomer" instead of sending an ambulance.
Oh, boy. This is getting interesting.
Obviously, there's a point to be made here, and it's a bit multilayered.
The site is pointing out a few things: The phrase is not exactly appropriate in all instances in life; Baby Boomers are mostly complaining about surface topics; and there are some generational divides that are more than just semantic. Baby Boomers are actually getting older. Some are retired. Some are nearing retirement, which means they might have a nest egg set aside, but it could also mean they will face new challenges that all of us will reach at some point in life.
More than anything, it's a challenge to the idea of using a short diss to silence other generations. And it reveals a tendency to use a trending phrase when it might not apply.
I happen to like the 'OK, Boomer' putdown in some cases.
There are times when it's better to just wave your hand and say "No comment," which is essentially what 'OK, Boomer' means. It's definitely a tiresome debate--who is more entitled, who acts childish more often.
Yet I like how the satire site is also revealing a problem: We tend to summarize these topics with short phrases and tweets without actually entering into any kind of real discussion. Millennials do have insurmountable college loan debt. Gen-Zers are going to be entering the workforce looking for jobs that don't really exist. Baby Boomers are getting older and will be dealing with more and more health issues. Gen-Xers are somewhere in there, a bit lost. (That's also a bit sad--they are lumped into the Boomer generation these days.)
The answer, as always, is healthy communication.
What are the real concerns of Baby Boomers as they enter their twilight years?
What can be done about college loan debt?
Why are there so few jobs in certain market segments?
Social media might not be the place for this long-form discussion, but it's a place to start.