2013 - Vol. 65
Youth Culture by Michael Shaughnessy
Google-search YOLO and you will get 26 million hits. Ask a social savvy
teen what it means and you might just get an eye-roll. YOLO is one of social
media's hot phrases. It's an acronym for: “you only live once.”
The idea that you only go around once in life isn't new – and it is
true – you do only live once.
only go around once in life, so you have to grab for all the gusto you
can get." – Schlitz Beer ad 1970
Teens use #YOLO to update friends on the latest buzz in their life.
By using the YOLO hashtag on Twitter they contribute to making YOLO a "trending
topic" so all Twitter users can access every tweet with the hashtagged
That you only live once should be a basis to take life seriously. In
youth culture, however, #YOLO is used to justify a selfish, reckless risk
taken without regard to longterm consequences.
|"Getting super drunk at
this party, mixed two drinks I shouldn't have!"
YOLO has become a basic moral principle for the choices of the modern
teen. It can be used to justify anything: you only live once. As Sherman
Ave, a blogger, states, “YOLO will always make sense as long as you don’t
think about it.”
The post-modern mind speaks again.
Shaughnessy is an elder in The
Servants of the Word and the Director of Kairos
in North America. Kairos is an international federation of outreaches
to high school, university and post university aged people.]
is an acronym for “fear of missing out.” It is the ugly first cousin of
envy and characterized by a strong desire to be in on everything!
Missing out could put a dent in your career, status or happiness – and
that would be tragic. FOMO is more prevalent in older teens as a smorgasbord
of choices expands open before them.
it's not just the multitude of choices that produces FOMO; it is the pressure
to choose the right one now!
social media, especially Facebook, text messaging, Twitter
and Instagram enable instant awareness of countless people’s current
activities and everything one could be doing right now.
not really in the mood to go out, but I feel like I should” is the kind
of statement made by those who fear leading a life that might be less than
it could be – even though FOMO, fear, is in fact making their life worse.
again what was a good principle, fear of wasting the life God gives us,
has been twisted into something utterly self-centered: fear of missing
out on every pleasure, vain status or fleeting fame.