I love Urban Dictionary. It keeps me up to speed (sort of) working in an office full of Gen Y’ers. So my latest foray into the Urban Dic was to find out the meaning of YOLO – You Only Live Once. ‘Nice’, I thought, it has a sort of bravery to it, an element of throwing caution to the wind. Carpe Diem is its equivalent for us Gen X’ers, or Seize the Day.
Here’s the explanation UD gave:
YOLO – The dumbass's excuse for something stupid that they did.
Umm, not so brave. But with YOLO being thrown around for seemingly every decision Gen Y’ers make on a daily basis – what’s for lunch, a burger or sushi? I’ll take the burger! YOLO! – is this just an irresponsible yet accepted form of making rash choices and dealing with the consequences later? Does it breed a generation of ‘care factor = zero’?
Whatever. I think we can take all this stuff way too literally instead of seeing it for what it really is – another trend that everyone has jumped on the bandwagon of. I prefer to keep it a little more lighthearted, a tad more tongue-in-cheek, and go back to my initial interpretation of YOLO – one that had elements of brazen confidence and devil may care.
I think we should all have a bit of YOLO in our lives. I don’t mean by jumping off a balcony to see if our leg breaks, but taking risks and exploring grounds outside our comfort zones. Because sometimes giving ourselves a little nudge in a direction we may not normally take could well result in something wonderful.