Check any recent social media postings from millennials or Generation Z, and chances are there’s at least one meme posting with the phrase “OK, boomer.”
Boomer is a reference to people born in the baby-boom generation between 1944 and 1964. Those in the millennial and Generation Z age groups have come under fire from this particular group for the concepts they advocate for and their ways of living.
The end result is a battle of old versus new.
“The older generations have been talking back to them for so long I think they are fed up with it,” Hattiesburg resident Jonathan Freddes said.
Freddes was born in 1955, and he said the difference between now and then is that the current generations have social media, which easily allows them to speak out against their older peers.
“Communication is different because if you talked back to someone, no one else really heard about it, and also people took things a lot easier back then and didn’t take everything to harm,” Freddes said.
According to a survey called the Millennial Impact, the most important issues amongst millennials are education, employment and wages. It is expected that by the year 2030, 75% of the workforce will be made up of people considered millennials, according to a report published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“What’s different with the rebellion going on now versus say, the hippie movement of the 1960s, is because of economic and technology changes,” senior international marketing major Michael Scott said. “Technology and fashion have changed drastically over the past 15 years. Because of this, it hasn’t allowed the generations much time to adjust to these advances.”
Scott said the millennial generation is a more communal one, referencing how in the United Kingdom, people who just got out of college get to live in flats easily, whereas the older generations didn’t have such living opportunities.
Southern Miss Starbucks employee Brandon Badon said he feels the current generations are being looked down upon for having values the older generations don’t understand.
“I once read an article where one of the presidents of Disney tweeted about how the boomer generation needs to sit down and let the millennial generation take the reins, which surprised me,” Badon said.
Despite this, Badon said he feels calling people from older generations names isn’t helping the millennials and Gen-Z make a name for themselves.
“I feel it’s exacerbated the situation. If this was happening in the 90s, it would have been a minor incident, but the instantaneous nature of the internet and news has made it more problematic than it actually is,” Badon said.
“I think people from different generations have always talked back to the previous generations, but there were never any labels put on them. There’s always been a generation gap,” Freddes said.