You might have come across the incessant use of the hashtag #YOLO in social media posts (or – if you are friends with real gems – people who hashtag normal conversation). If, like me, you thought #FTW** was an ironic spin on #WTF***, you too may have wondered where this newest meme came from and what all this shorthand really means. If you are already tired of reading this post because this first paragraph has exceeded 140 characters then #GL&HF****
#YOLO is the acronym for “you only live once” or as Jack Black aptly named it “the stupid man’s carpe diem“. And while smug hipsters think they are so on trend by already using the hashtag ironically, many would be surprised to know that it has been around since 2004.
And the “inventor of YOLO“? According to Know Your Meme the first known use of the acronym is attributed to Adam Mesh from the third season of the reality tv show, The Average Joe. I find it terribly ironic that a phrase that has become synonymous with wild abandon, destructive partying and an unhealthy obsession with youth and beauty was coined by a suit-wearing day-trader whose eyes are just that bit too close together.
I cannot help but think, though, that the world would have been a better place if Adam Mesh’s version of #YOLO was popularised and not the (excuse my French, I am paraphrasing) hard-clubbing, bitch-fucking, ice-pimping, blunt-relaying Energizer bunny version that Drake popularised in his song, The Motto.
And that brings me to my rant of the day: My issue with the #YOLO generation is not that they are too lazy to write out full words. It is not that they want to party and go wild and be care-free. My issue with the #YOLO generation is that they seem to have forgotten that they really only live once and that there is so much more to value in this life than bitches and blunt. Life is so short and spending it in a never-ending cycle of drug/ alcohol-induced euphoria followed by relentless loser complex the next day seems like a waste to me. You only live once – so carpe the fucking shit out of the diem #FTW
* #YOLO = you only live once
** #FTW = for the win (not fuck the what)
*** #WTF = what the fuck
**** #GL&HF – good luck and have fun