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TV/Media Commentary and Societal Insights. With a Beard.
We all need ways to help us get through the day, especially when life keeps giving us lemons but our juicer is broken so you can’t even make lemonade. There are billions of crazy fortune cookie sayings that, instead of telling us our fortune, tell us “the sun only rises for those who wish it to” or “consume goat’s blood over the Hellmouth on the hour of the beast.”
But cheesy inspirational phrases do have a point—living your life completely safe will definitely make you hate it. Which is why concepts like “Live like you were dying” or “YOLO” (an acronym for “You Only Live Once” that’s actually pronounced phonetically because God hates us) and variations of the like have always had popularity one way or another. “YOLO” in particular, after being popularized by that one guy from Degrassi who’s also a rapper apparently, has exploded with teens and young adults lately. Drake has actually described it as a legitimate “movement” (remember that nothing else important is happening in the world right now) and it’s a popular Twitter hashtag, reason for pranks, and even Zac Efron apparently tattooed the motto on himself, which is again the most important thing happening in the entire world.
The media can have its field day with Efron and teen pranks, but ultimately you can’t stop people from being fucking stupid. That stuff’s going to happen with or without a dumb motto. The problem, though, is that even for people who don’t consciously say the phrases like jackasses, the “YOLO” concept of “live your life to the fullest” is used copiously by young adults in their 20s—people who are out of school with no idea what to really do next. It’s an age where, yeah, we can be doing random shit. It’s way more likely that the job we’re working or place we’re living or even significant other we’re with won’t be the same in the next 5 or 10 years. And that’s okay, because plenty of people use their 20s as a time for exploration (especially in the current market) so of course you’ll be doing different things. But some people use “YOLO” or less BS phrases like “Carpe Diem” as their foundation, and instead of it being motivation to try new things, it just screws them over, mentally, emotionally and even physically.