Generation Y: Y.O.L.O (You only live once)


Has anyone noticed Generations Y’s strange obsession with living in the now? When I say Generation Y, a.k.a the Millennial Generation, I’m referring to individuals born between the late 70’s into the 2000’s. This generation has been the main target for this “act now, think later” theme. Popular media outlets, including movies, music, and social media have all begun to stress the ways this generation should be living, and that consist of living a lifestyle deprived of regrets! In terms of movies, this would include SuperBad, Project X, 21 and Over, the Hangover Franchise, and many more; while some songs would currently include:

One Direction‘s “Live While We’re Young“- “Tonight let’s get some. And live while we’re young
Fun‘s popular hit “We are Young“- “Tonight, we are young, So let’s set the world on fire
M.I.A‘s “Bad Girls“- “Live fast, die young, Bad girls do it well
Ke$ha‘s “Die Young”- “Let’s make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young

Each of these songs emphasize living in the now, problem free. These artists use youth as a clutch, and an excuse, to do anything and everything, without having to face the repercussions! They are exploited and told these false truths, that somehow the individual’s youth will protect them from harm, even immortalize them in countless ways. This has led to the death and incarceration of countless teens across America. Whether this is from the rising death toll of texting and driving, increased drug acceptance, or an increased urge to try new and dangerous stunts seen on television. Shows such as MTV’s long running Jackass, has long promoted this lifestyle, alongside several other shows geared toward teens on, including “The Real World,” newcomers “Buckwild,” and “Jersey Shore.” What’s sad is that television shows, movies, and music alike are now capitalizing on this toxic idea that is putting countless lives at stake. In fact, young adults have internalized these messages so much that they’re all over social media: #YOLO- “You only live once,” and are used repetitively after the completion of certain activities. If an individual fails to complete these activities, peers are looked down upon after excluding themselves from the risky behavior taking place, resulting in them completing the task out of #FOMO- “Fear of missing out.”

What do you think about this phenomena? Do you agree that it has become more widespread over the past couple of years? If not, please feel free to comment and post your opinion, I’d love to hear it!

10 thoughts on “Generation Y: Y.O.L.O (You only live once)

  1. I see both sides of it. YOLO can be good because it can push you out your comfort zone. For example, I took a class of hot yoga. Why? Why not? YOLO! I hated it and vow to never return. Now, some people can use YOLO to excuse dumb behavior. To me, YOLO is the modern day “Carpe diem”. Drake just made it catchier.

    • I agree with you, in terms of the double meaning. Nonetheless, I think the way it’s advertised leans more towards the negative side rather than the positive. Additionally, I still believe that Y.O.L.O and “Carpe Diem,” are two separate phrases due to YOLO’s negative connotations.

  2. I also agree on the “double meaning” of YOLO. I think that one of the reasons for this behavior is the financial crisis. Youngsters have the feeling that opportunities aren’t created for them. One way of dealing with this, is to take your faith into your own hands and do “crazy” things like opening your own shop, start your own company, create your own dreamjob, … (entrepreneurism: gives a rush, makes one feel alive, YOLO!!!). Another way of dealing with this is to “live in the moment” and just drop everything and travel around the world, watch all the movies and tv series you’ve ever wanted to watch, move back home (with your parents) and go out all of the time, … You can either create something yourself or ignore the problem and “go with the flow”. I don’t really know if the “entrepreneur” way of dealing is better per se (you can fail miserably and be in depth for the rest of your life), but at least your trying. I try to push myself (I admit that I’m a Generation Y’er) to DO something (useful or meaningful), instead of just go with the flow and let the problem fix itself. But it’s hard, because it costs a lot of energy and creativity (that’s why, sometimes, I also ignore the problem and do YOLO stuff so I won’t feel FOMO afterwards)

    • I completely agree with you! Hopefully the negative connotation of Yolo will die down by the end of this year, and the positive connotation will push our youth to becoming entrepreneurs in every sense of the word!

    • So many. From being a college student alone, I have seen individuals take this expression to the extreme and do crazy things, like experimental drugs, jumping off of the roofs of houses, you name it! Have you seen the impact of this phrase on today’s youth? Have you had any experience with it?

  3. I definitely think it pushes kids to not take the time to think about consequences. However, I think with age, you realize quickly (hopefully before you die from doing something stupid) that everything has consequences.

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