YOLO – Unless you believe in reincarnation

The social networking culture of our generation is astounding both in its popularity and also when you consider how quickly it has gathered pace.

The social networking culture of our generation is astounding both in its popularity and also when you consider how quickly it has gathered pace. To go with it are the phrases that make up a whole new language that is a requirement on your social CV.

Ranging from LOL to FYI to FTW, I’m sure it’s possible to create a paragraph with more abbreviations and slang than actual language. Brb, my bff wants to talk on fb but cbb. Also, omg idk why but she just said “fyi g2g hope np”. Wbu, wuu2? xoxo (Translation: Be right back, my best friend forever wants to talk on Facebook but can’t be bothered. Also, oh my God I don’t know why but she just said “for your information, got to go hope no problem”. What about you, what are you up to? hugs and kisses).

Yes, I agree that is a lot to follow. Yet these abbreviations just keep popping up all over the place, a new one always seems to be trending on Twitter.

Sceptical of the phrase

One such example which I hear regularly at University is YOLO (short for “you only live once” for those who have somehow escaped this worldwide trend). It is the ultimate justification, whether it be for going out the night before your essay is due in (the one you haven’t finished…or started for that matter) or dying your hair purple (indeed, I even used YOLO when convincing my parents to let me dip dye my hair).

Why is it so popular though? Really it seems to be because it’s a phrase perfectly encapsulating student life. It’s the excuse to do as you as you please without worrying about the consequences or feeling any guilt.

That’s because it’s under the umbrella of an opportunity or to make the most of life. It’s the modern take on Carpe Diem becauseTempus Fugit which has the same principle—do as you please, whether it be wild or not, it is acceptable because who knows what will happen tomorrow.

Unfortunately, I can’t say I am completely on board with the new phrase that has been so easily adapted into our everyday vernacular. The problem I have is that it attempts to make your sometimes unreasonable or wild behaviour acceptable when in fact it isn’t…but that’s the whole point- you want to be unreasonable.

You’re not getting drunk because you only live once, you’re doing it because the exam today was reminiscent of a nightmare and you don’t want to face a 9am lecture tomorrow. The fun of it is admitting that you went a little crazy last night because you wanted to, rather than dressing it up as an opportunistic chance that you had to take.

Core of this generation

I would be lying if I said I had never said YOLO, but I fear it may be a phase, like the infamous onesies are, a must say at the moment. But in a few years when looking back we will be thinking that we all went temporarily mad.

There’s no doubt that a YOLO attitude will have led to some good things—it’s a positive mind set which I’m sure had given people the confidence to do things they might not have done otherwise, but I can’t say I’m completely in favour.

I’m definitely not a supporter to the extent that Zac Efron seems to be (he has a tattoo reading YOLO…without this I’m sure many would agree he would be the definition of perfection).

It depends, I think, on the circumstance. If you decide to apply to an internship which you are sure is well out of your reach then YOLO is the perfect attitude.

OTOH (Translation: on the other hand…the abbreviations just keep creeping in!) if you decide to pierce your tongue and get a tattoo (please don’t follow Zac Efron on this though) then that’s more of a “I want to do something crazy and it’s not because I believe I only live once but because I just want to be crazy” thing.

Whether you agree or not, getting away from the craze is just impossible, so embracing the basic principle behind it won’t hurt, opportunism can never be a bad because let’s face it—YOLO.

What do you think about YOLO? Have your say in the comments section below.