Look Out! It’s a Baby Boomer’s Worst Nightmare: Generation Z


Ayiana Scott, Contributor

It’s the infamous war: Baby Boomers v. the World. We all know about it. Nearly every generation has had a problem with them. They believe they are elite, while they look down at younger generations because their way of life is so vastly different. But while other generations have let these ideologies pass, nobody has taken the argument with Baby Boomers further than the glorious Generation Z. With their armour and swords, also known as TikTok and Memes, you best place your bet that Generation Z will put Baby Boomers in their place.

If you are not familiar with Baby Boomers, they are the generation born between 1946 and 1964, making them around 60 years old now. They were born during the Great Baby Boom, a time almost immediately after WWII and a time that called for new social and economic change. From civil rights activism to an emerging postwar economy, Baby Boomers once represented an opportunity for growth and development.

However, to truly understand why the Boomers are so controversial, you have to first understand that they are a generation that was given an amazing opportunity: to take the fruitful, post-war American land and grow it into something incredible. But instead, they did nothing. As a consequence, the world that Gen Z now must take on is a world with only a few things: a divided country, increasing global warming, more opportunities to find debt, expensive education and much more. 

But with all of this aside you may be asking yourself, what is so controversial about them? And to get the answer to that, just ask Gen Z. 

Who exactly is Gen Z? We are the people born between 1997 and 2012. And Generation Z is the generation everyone will be thanking in a few years time. 

Similarly to Millennials, 22-38 year olds, Gen Z is faced with two problems when it comes to dealing with Baby Boomers. Firstly, Baby Boomers are convinced that we younger generations are phone addicted, substanceless teenagers who are completely oblivious to the world around them. Meanwhile the younger generations believe that Baby Boomers, who were once filled with progressive idealism, have now become old, out of touch people who have no care for helping the future.

Nearly any Gen Zer you talk to will tell you just how much we younger generations have to deal with thanks to the choices Baby Boomers have made.

In an interview for his 2017 book A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America, author Bruce Gibney says, “The boomers inherited a rich, dynamic country and have gradually bankrupted it. They habitually cut their own taxes and borrow money without any concern for future burdens. They’ve spent virtually all our money and assets on themselves and in the process have left a financial disaster for their children.” 

Compared to when Boomers went to college, which cost them between $1000- $4000, the average college student today is paying so much that they find themselves in about $30,000 in debt by the time they are 23 years old. 

And just to bash the Boomers a little more, don’t even bring up the topic of climate change to Gen Zers. You will find yourself in a 40 min long conversation about how Boomers have become some of the largest contributors to CO2 emissions yet refuse to admit that climate change is real, much less do anything about it. Believe me, it is not fun for anyone to be forced to these realities, but we must talk about it if we want to make change. So that is what we are doing. The first step in addressing a problem is acknowledging that one exists.

Now, it is not right for me and other Gen Zers to generalize an entire generation into the singular category of uptight, older Americans who have no respect for the changing world around them, so let me make one thing clear. Gen Z only blames the entitled Baby Boomers. Those who are unable to see how the world has changed around them and refuse to admit that they are some of the main contributors to the burdens Gen Z and Millennials have to deal with today. 

These are the Baby Boomers that the younger generations have a problem with. The ones who are bitter towards change and are constantly generalizing Gen Z as “lazy” and addicted to social media, yet they are far more likely to be sharing content on social media themselves. Ironic isn’t it? Unfortunately for them however, Gen Z has only seen this as an opportunity. It’s as if we all thought, if Boomers think we are all too obsessed with dumb social media, why dont we use it as a weapon against them?

If you have been paying attention to modern day culture trends, then you may have seen things such as the “OK Boomer” movement or may have seen a rise in Gen Zers revolting against the traditionally corrupt ways of society. With the power of social media and the valued connections we have with one another, Gen Z has completely reshaped how people see the crumbling world that Baby Boomers have created. 

If you ever overhear someone use the phrase “OK Boomer,” then you can bet that the person on the other end of the line is acting, at least in Gen Z’s eyes, like a person who refuses to hop on the progressive train and move forward to create a better future. These people rightfully deserve this virtual eye roll, which has proven to be the simplest way in which Gen Z has pushed Boomers over the edge. 

Across the nation, Boomers are furious that they have been subject to the generalizations that they are traditionalists who refuse to get with the program. Many claim that they are the most progressive generation because they grew up during the civil rights movement. Others claim that they are the smartest simply because they have a longer life experience. 

And while it is true that Baby Boomers have been incredibly successful in their lives, what have they done to help future generations? Next to nothing. Baby boomers are all take and no give. And when it comes to the civil rights movement, let’s not forget that some Baby Boomers grew up in segregated American classrooms. And if they were so progressive when it comes to civil rights activism, why is it that still, 50 years later, people of color in America are still suffering from systematic racism?

Gen Z has only known today’s world of divided citizens. Republicans fighting Democrats, and people from different ethnicities suffering to feel equal to those of European descent. With social media, we have access to information and new perspectives that Baby Boomers could not have even imagined when they were our age. We have the entire Internet, they had what? The Sunday newspaper and nightly news? Because the access to information is so easy now, Generation Z has been proven to be the most politically and socially active generation with over 80% of them having participated in many activist protests over the past few months. The possibilities are endless for Gen Z.

In all honesty, if you listen closely, you will know that not all of Gen Z hate Baby Boomers. In fact there are many Boomers who have proven that they strive for change and to us, those people are iconic. However, Gen Z also recognizes that we do not have time to wait around and hope something better comes along. Most of us cannot even vote yet, so using social media to make our opinions clear is the only true way that we can let the world know that we do not mess around. When I asked a group of high school teenagers what they thought Generation Z stood for, they all said a similar thing: We are here to change what the Boomers have left behind. And as far as I can tell, for being “lazy teenagers” we have done an impressive job so far.