19 Things Young People Say That Gets Our Goat: Straight from Boomers Who’ve Had Enough

While talking to my mom and five of her close friends, all Baby Boomers, I discovered that certain phrases younger generations use really get under their skin. These men and women, with their wealth of life experience, shared with me the sayings that particularly bug them and why they find them irritating. Their insights shed light on the challenges of intergenerational communication and the misunderstandings that can arise. Here are 19 phrases that my boomer mom and her friends find most annoying, along with explanations of how these sayings impact their interactions with younger people.

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#1 “OK, Boomer”

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“OK, Boomer” has become a catchphrase used by younger generations to dismiss or mock attitudes perceived as outdated or out of touch. Many of us find it disrespectful and condescending, feeling it unfairly stereotypes us based on age. This phrase can shut down meaningful dialogue and deepen generational divides, as it implies that an entire generation’s viewpoints are irrelevant or unwelcome.

#2 “You Wouldn’t Understand, It’s a Millennial/Gen Z Thing”

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This phrase dismisses boomers’ ability to grasp new concepts or trends, making us feel excluded and undermined. It overlooks the fact that many of us are open to learning and understanding new things, just as we once adapted to the technologies and trends of their own youth.

#3 “You’re So Out of Touch”

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Hearing this can be frustrating for us because it suggests that our experiences and knowledge are no longer relevant. It disregards the valuable insights we can offer and reduces our contributions to mere relics of the past.

#4 “Can You Text That To Me?”

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While many of us are quite proficient with technology, being constantly asked to text information can be tedious. Just have a face to face conversation for once!

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#5 “Do You Even Know How To Use That?”

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Whether referring to a smartphone or a new app, this question assumes incompetence without giving us the benefit of the doubt. It can feel patronizing and dismissive, especially when many of us are quite adept at using modern technology.

#6 “Why Don’t You Just Google It?”

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While practical, this suggestion can come across as patronizing. It implies that we aren’t already aware of the wealth of information available online, when in reality, we often do utilize search engines and online resources just like everyone else. Maybe we’re asking you to test your knowledge, not the internet’s.

#7 “Things Are Different Now”

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This phrase can be condescending as it implies that we are unaware of the changes happening around us. While it’s true that times change, we are often well aware of this and can adapt accordingly, drawing on our own experiences to navigate new landscapes.

#8 “You Need To Get With The Times”

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This statement can be frustrating because it suggests that we are stuck in the past. It ignores the fact that many of us are actively engaged with current events and technologies, and it undermines our ability to contribute meaningfully to modern conversations.

#9 “Can You Hurry Up?”

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Impatience with our pace can feel disrespectful, especially when we are being thorough or careful. This phrase implies that our way of doing things is inconveniently slow, overlooking the wisdom and caution that often come with experience.

#10 “That’s Not Politically Correct”

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While addressing outdated language and attitudes is important, this phrase can sometimes be used to shut down conversation rather than educate. We may feel we are being unfairly judged or silenced instead of being guided towards more inclusive language and attitudes. Also, cancel culture is outrageous.

#11 “You Should Retire Already”

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This suggestion can feel like an attempt to push us out of relevance and contribution. Many of us enjoy staying active in our careers and communities, and this phrase undermines our desire to continue making meaningful contributions.

#12 “It’s Just a Meme, You Wouldn’t Get It”

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Dismissing our ability to understand humor or current trends can be alienating. It assumes we are out of touch with modern culture, ignoring the fact that humor and trends can be appreciated across generations.

#13 “You’re Old-Fashioned”

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While sometimes true, this phrase often carries a negative connotation, ignoring the benefits of experience and tradition. It can feel like a slight against our values and preferences, which have been shaped by decades of life experience.

#14 “Why Are You Still Using [Insert Technology]?”

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Criticizing our choice of tools or methods can feel dismissive of our preferences and comfort zones. It overlooks the fact that familiarity with certain technologies can enhance efficiency and comfort, even if those tools aren’t the latest.

#15 “Back In Your Day…”

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Often used sarcastically, this phrase can belittle our past experiences and achievements. It implies that our stories and lessons from the past are irrelevant or outdated, rather than recognizing the timeless wisdom we might offer.

#16 “Do You Even Know What [Insert Term] Means?”

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Assuming we are out of the loop on newer terms can feel patronizing and unfair. Many of us keep up with contemporary slang and terminology, and assuming otherwise only serves to widen the generational gap. And many times, we don’t even care. We have plenty of our own phrases to keep all kinds of conversation going.

#17 “It’s a Generational Thing”

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Using this phrase to explain differences can oversimplify and dismiss our ability to understand and adapt. It can create an unnecessary divide, ignoring the common ground and mutual understanding that can be achieved with open communication.

#18 “Adulting Is Hard”

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Saying “adulting is hard” can frustrate us because we believe that managing responsibilities is simply part of life. We might see this phrase as a way for younger people to avoid accountability or complain about normal tasks. For us, handling life’s challenges is a given, not something to be lamented.

#19 “Everything Was Easier for Your Generation”

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This phrase is particularly irksome because it dismisses the unique challenges and hardships we faced. Many of us grew up during times of significant economic, social, and political upheaval, such as the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, the Korean War and various economic recessions. Suggesting that everything was easier undermines our struggles and achievements.

Through sharing these experiences, we hope to bridge the gap in understanding and foster more respectful and meaningful conversations between generations.

Disclaimer – This list is solely the author’s opinion based on research and publicly available information.

15 Everyday Things Baby Boomers Had 40 Years Ago That Are Luxuries Now

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As we ride the waves of technological progress, manufacturing efficiencies and cheap supply chains, some everyday aspects that were once standard now seem like relics of a bygone era. Let us take a nostalgic trip down memory lane as social media users reminisce about luxuries that were once ordinary.

15 Everyday Things Baby Boomers Had 40 Years Ago That Are Luxuries Now

24 Momentous Things Boomers Lived Through

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In today’s hustle and bustle, it’s easy to overlook the big moments that shaped the Baby Boomer generation. From watching the Berlin Wall crumble to facing the challenges of the AIDS epidemic, Baby Boomers lived through some pretty intense times. Amidst all that, they also navigated a world where typewriters and floppy disks were the height of technology. In this slide show, we’ll take a trip down memory lane to explore the gadgets of Baby Boomers’ youth and the major political, economic, and social events that defined their generation.

24 Momentous Things Boomers Lived Through