The boomer pause: the sign that shows you should really get off social media

<span>… Gary … Barlow … </span><span>Photograph: Kate Green/Getty Images for Universal Pictures</span>
… Gary … Barlow … Photograph: Kate Green/Getty Images for Universal Pictures

Name: The boomer pause.

Age: A split second.

Appearance: An uncomfortably long break.

Does it refer to an entitled pause between statements to show that you, a boomer, own the room? Not quite: it refers to that awkward moment of silence between hitting “record” and speaking that boomers leave when they film their social media posts.

I’m not sure I understand. It’s like the millennial pause, but longer.

Wait – the millennial pause? A term, coined in 2021, for the telltale split-second pause millennials leave before speaking, because they came of age before TikTok.

And the boomer pause is longer, because boomers are even older? Exactly. Like a long pause before and after speaking.

So it’s a pause indicating age-related technological ineptitude? It’s more than that.

With an added note of self-satisfied indifference about how you come across? That’s part of it, I guess.

And a studied refusal to get to grips with even the most basic and user-friendly editing features? It’s just being a boomer, really.

Would you happen to have a popular example of the phenomenon to hand? Yes: Gary Barlow.

From Take That? That’s the one. On the TikTok account of his wine range, Barlow recently filmed himself grinning in front of a vineyard.

Gary Barlow has a wine range? Keep up. The clip, which has since gone viral, may be transcribed thus: (IMMENSE PAUSE). Barlow: “This is my idea of a very nice day out.” (SECOND IMMENSE PAUSE). End of video.

A boomer pause? “I thought my phone had frozen” was one of the many comments below the post.

Maybe he’s inserting a deliberate pause to … To what?

… to capture your attention. TikTok doesn’t work like that, grandad.

Anyway, I hate to break it to you, but Gary Barlow isn’t a boomer. Are you kidding? He has his own wine range, and homes worth millions in London, Oxfordshire and Santa Monica.

Barlow was born in 1971. The generally acknowledged boomer cutoff is 1964. He is technically Gen X. The boomer pause is down to the length of the gap, not the age of the pauser.

So Kylie Jenner could leave a boomer pause? She could, but she wouldn’t.

Do say: (After counting to five slowly in your head) “Hi, everybody!”

Don’t say: “I am pushing the button! It just keeps flashing this … oops, I think we’re on. Hi, everybody!”