Wednesday, May 30, 2012

“Yes, You do Only Live Once, and #YOLO Will Outlive Us All”

By Monica Lopez

At this point, nearly all social media fans are familiar with the phrase YOLO (you only live once) being added to just about any and every kind of statement made on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. YOLO has swarmed the social media community since its mention in the 2011 Drake song, The Motto. 

And yeah, while we get the message - this is the one life we have, so let’s live it up – and maybe even agree with it, but when will the YOLO phenomenon end?  People are posting all sorts of crude, and ridiculous comments via social media while hashtagging YOLO at the end as a way of adding humor and justification to their comments. And while some comments left by YOLO-ites can be tongue in cheek and make you chuckle, too many people are using YOLO to promote, celebrate and support reckless behavior with the mentality, “screw it, you only live once.” 

This ideology is the primary way that the phrase YOLO is being used and it’s an ongoing cycle of chaotic comments on social media scenes, especially Twitter. Just look up YOLO on Twitter and you will see post after post from folks (including teens and tweens) promoting drug use, casual sex, binge drinking, failing or skipping school, all while hashtagging YOLO to make light of their actions and justify their bad behavior.
Check out these recent tweets posted from YOLO-ites:
·         “Before I die I wanna have tried every drug in this world... #Yolo
·         “F**k school, be a drug dealer, that’s my motto, yolo.”
·         “Getting drunk while ur on medication that tells u not to drink or smoke while taking the pills #yolo
·         “Have sex with everyone and everything. YOLO
·         “Failing every class and I decided not to go to school today or tomorrow....... #yolo
·         “Ditching school n getting tipsy with your senior class during the day haha :))))))) #YOLO!”

And while yes, you do only live once, YODO (you only die once) too and there are consequences to every choice. It can only take one reckless act to end or change the course of your life forever. So, chill out with the promotion of crazy, careless living. I mean, sure we’ve all had our fair share of times where we’ve overdone it at some point in our lives. Take me for example, I once (or maybe twice) got so drunk that I blacked out and had no idea how I got home. But, the next day I thought (with a pounding headache), “Whoa, that was crazy, thank God I made it home okay.”  And after that, I set a limitation on how many drinks I had when I went out to make sure I was still functional (well, mostly functional) at the end of the night. I didn’t glamorize it on social media by posting, “Hey, crazy night last night! No idea how I got home. Let’s do it again tonight!  #YOLO”

However, I don’t think the YOLO movement is all bad. Some people put the spin on YOLO and use it to promote better living and to encourage others to carpe diem it up.
Take a look at these tweets for example:
·         The concept of YOLO isn't to go out smoke drink and act like a fool, it’s to do something with your life that actually matters.”
·         “Do something crazy! Invest more than the company match in your IRA, get that lump checked out, call your mom/dad & tell em you love em. YOLO
·         #yolo isn't an excuse to party and be reckless, it's the reason to enjoy every moment of everyday with the people you love”

The YOLO push doesn’t seem to be dying down anytime soon, so instead of ignoring it, I may just flow with it and promote a more positive encouraging community of YOLO-ites. I’ll start with posting this mamma jamma, “Live life with an unquenchable desire to be the best you and make a change in the world you live in, xoxo. #YOLO.”

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