Ah, Twitter! Don’tcha just love it? An oasis of calm in a stormy, chaotic world, where mutual respect and reasoned debate reign supreme. 

Yeah, right.

Actually, although Twitter can be fun, it’s also a broiling cesspit of conspiracy theorists, single, middle-aged straight men who still live with their mums and who couldn’t get a girlfriend even if they won the EuroMillions and, of course, an army of keyboard warriors who mistake trite hashtags for “activism”. 

It is these hashtags which concern us today and, after extensive research (which chiefly involved sitting in the pub with a pen, paper and many beers) we can reveal the top three most idiotic hashtags in the Twittersphere.

THIRD PLACE. #NotMyPrimeMinister (also #NotMyPresident).

Listen up, kids. Are you British? Come on…it’s not a trick question. If your answer is no, then Boris Johnson IS NOT your Prime Minister. If your answer is yes then, whether you like it or not, Boris Johnson IS your Prime Minister. 

He won a general election (I know, we’re not thrilled about it either), barrelled off to the Palace to see the Queen and then, quick as you like, it’s wham, bam, thank you Ma’am as she hands over the keys to Number 10, giving him immediate access to essential info such as when to put the bins out and how to launch our nuclear weapons, God help us.

SECOND PLACE #EndOfDebate (also #NoDebate).

The progress of humanity is, in part at least, characterised by what were once considered universal truths being contradicted and rejected by discussion, debate and engagement with those who hold opposing views.

Once upon a time, very learned people believed that the sun revolved around the Earth and to deny this “fact” was considered both heresy and lunacy. Imagine if Twitter had been around then:

The abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, equal marriage, and so much more that we now take for granted were brought about not by shouting opinions and then shutting down any debate or discussion, but by patiently – and often painstakingly – making one’s arguments and changing hearts and minds. 

Seriously, if you’re unable to back up your point with measured argument, hard facts and clear logic then, let’s face it, your point probably isn’t worth making in the first place.

AND OUR WINNER IS #OKBoomer.

Loads to unpick here, so let’s take our own advice and make a clear and concise argument.

#OKBoomer is employed by young people to dismiss older people, specifically the baby boomer generation who were born between 1945 and 1964. Let us begin with the mind-blowing arrogance of believing experience counts for nothing: for sure, age is not the only marker of wisdom but, surely, we all want and expect to be wiser at 40 than at 20. Life experience shapes you: marriage, divorce, bereavement, redundancy, trauma, travel, having children, having grandchildren, the accumulation of knowledge, addiction, recovery…all these things and more mould a person, and while age on its own is not necessarily a reason to respect someone, it is certainly no justification for dismissing them either.

The Boomer generation is the generation of Woodstock, free love, campaigning for racial and sexual equality, getting spat on and abused on those early gay pride marches (I once had a glass bottle of urine thrown at me and the police did nothing), protesting against nuclear weapons at Greenham Common and against the Vietnam War in America. LGBT “Boomers” endured the AIDS epidemic but got up off their backsides and founded charities which are still operating today. It is the Boomers we have to thank for ensuring gay couples can adopt children, that gay people can serve their country and whose campaigning has enshrined in law that you cannot be dismissed from your job or paid less for being gay. 

Don’t get me wrong. I have no interest in waging an inter-generational war. Au contraire: despite many people my age banging on about “the snowflake generation”, I am nothing but impressed by the resilience and good-humour of Gen Z who, in many ways, have been dealt something of a duff hand.

So by all means disagree with the generations which came before you: age is not a free pass for immunity against criticism but, before you employ the ghastly, disrespectful #OKBoomer Twitter hashtag, think about playing the ball and not the person.


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