Don’t you hate it when someone from an older generation tell you what to do? Or when they try to instill their moral obligations on you?
You might not have realized it, but an inter-generational feud is taking place with Generation Z kids calling out baby boomers with a condescending catchphrase: “OK, boomer” to express their frustration that “old people just don’t get it.”
It started when a white-haired man in a baseball cap and polo shirt declared, “The millennials and Generation Z have the Peter Pan syndrome, they don’t ever want to grow up.”
Thousands of teens have responded through remixed reaction videos and art projects with the phrase and meme “ok boomer.”
Although it’s true that this generation has it better, they are also facing new challengers compared to the previous generation.
Rising debt, high house prices, longer education, changing technology eliminating entry level jobs and longer education are the challenges the younger generation faces.
Ashley Fell, a social researcher from the McCrindle Institute, agrees that although there are differences between the different generations, mutual respect and knowing their strengths will be key moving forward.
“We do need to be responding to the changing world that we are living in, the changing demographic realities, and some of the other political context,” she said.
“We need to make sure that older generations are aware of that, being responsive to some of these attitudes younger generations have because they are future. They will be the succession planners, future ways of working, and technologies in the work place.”
“… We know that each generation is very different. Older generation have great customer service skills and great use of wisdom in the workforce, and younger generation bring great awareness of technology and issues.”
“Drawing on the strength of both generation is key, but it starts with a mutual respect we do need to have between the generations.”
As different generation have different strengths, it’s important for Australia to have a national conversation about inter-generation differences, to increase business productivity and reduce social fiction.