A group where we all pretend to be boomers
Type of site
|Website||Official page on Facebook|
|Launched||12 May 2019|
A group where we all pretend to be boomers is a Facebook group created in May 2019, for users – the majority of whom are millennials and in Generation Z – to pretend to be baby boomers. The group has been described as "digital larping". The members of the group post in the manner of a stereotypical internet user from the baby boomer generation.
The group was created in May 2019 by two 20-year-olds. Membership of the group grew rapidly in late June 2019 following a tweet which went viral, and in July 2019, the group had roughly 10,000 posts per day. The majority of group members are millennials aged between 23 and 28 years old, however there are members of all ages, including those from the boomer generation itself.
Members of the group post in character as a stereotypical baby boomer. The style of speech used in the group has been termed a register called "boomerspeak" by linguist Gretchen McCulloch. Examples of this manner of speech include posts with spelling mistakes, posts written in all capitals, non sequiturs, and the large use of GIFs of minions. Due to older people more readily sharing fake news on Facebook, many members ironically post fake news in the group, in imitation.
Due to older people stereotypically being seen as more conservative, there have been posts which imitate the perceived style of conservative baby boomers, using racist or bigoted language. This has caused problems, as Facebook does not largely moderate private groups itself, but leaves it to the group moderators, and so some posts have to be deleted. Some of the group's moderators have called on Facebook to provide more guidance on what is and isn't allowed on the platform.
The group has been described as being successful for several reasons, including its comedic properties, envy of the boomer generation from the younger generations, and as a reaction to the often negative stereotyping of millennials by older people. Dr Elissa Perry said in The Guardian that "a very common reaction to stereotyping is the denigration of the other". Other sources, including ORF, have described this as being part of a "generational conflict", which has been linked to the political climate, where old and young people broadly disagree on political topics.
However, the group has been criticised for perpetuating the stereotype that all older people are more conservative, and Dr Kelly Weeks has said in The Guardian that "so much research trying to show the differences between generations has actually resulted in showing that we’re so much more similar than we think".
The group has led to several spin-off groups, including "a group where we all pretend to be millennials", "a group where we all pretend to be ants in an ant colony" which attracted over a million members, and "a group where we all pretend to be boomers pretending to be millennials".
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- Baby boomers
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...the Facebook group called "A group where we all pretend to be boomers". Members basically attempt pitch-perfect posts as if they were in that 65+ age bracket
- McCulloch, Gretchen (20 December 2019). "'Boomerspeak' Is Now Available for Your Parodying Pleasure". Wired. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
- Doctorow, Cory (20 December 2019). "Codifying "Boomerspeak" and debating the ethics of poking fun at it". Boing Boing. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
- "Generationenstreit | Wenn Millennials auf Baby-Boomer machen". Kleine Zeitung (in Deutsch). 10 July 2019. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
- Resnick, Brian (1 July 2016). "Do we really become more bigoted with age? Science suggests yes". Vox. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
- "Posten wie Opa: Onlinekampf der Generationen" [Posting like Grandad: Online battle of the generations]. ORF (in Deutsch). 10 July 2019. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
- Smith, Samantha; Maniam, Shiva (20 March 2017). "Younger, older generations divided in partisanship and ideology". Pew Research Center. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
- Klein, Matt. "Absurdist Facebook Groups Are Thriving In The Pandemic". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-05-07.
- "The Hottest Facebook Group Of The Coronavirus Pandemic Is One Where Everyone Pretends To Be Ants". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 2020-05-07.
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