The beloved Boomerang: A generational culture gap
Is our ‘Boomerang’ era over?
I’m talking about that iconic loop effect you see (and probably use) on Instagram, Snapchat, and dozens of other camera apps.
Of course, the technical term for it isn’t Boomerang (that’s just the brandmark) but it’s become a metonymy across generations, especially with “30-somethings.” Boomerang is exactly what it sounds like: a burst of photos or videos that move on a loop, backwards or forwards – often on Instagram Stories.
But recently, a TikTok creator had a message for Millennials: “Please, please stop using Boomerang in your Instagram Stories.”
stop.♬ original sound – SG
Obviously, the comments and reaction videos blew up.
Naturally, we had to talk about it on our podcast:
Leave Boomerangs alone!
Why is Gen Z coming for Boomerangs?
Having been extremely online in social media for more than a decade, Millennials are fluent in the language of Boomerang culture (if we can call it that). We’ve been using that bouncy effect for ages, before videos were even allowed in Stories. Perhaps that’s why it’s worked so well for so long. From selfies to glass-clinking-celebrations, it’s become a visual part of how we communicate on social media.
But Gen Zers, having risen in an era of digital authenticity, expression, and meme-making don’t recognize the nostalgic significance or whimsical intrigue Boomerangs add to Stories.
Or they just haven’t experienced the fun of capturing one.
Perhaps Boomerangs are just an unwitting disclosure of Millennials’ shared tendencies – the mark of their existence. A stamp, as if which is to say, “I was here.”
One thing is certain: I will never stop.
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