7 November 2012

"YOLO" - a no no?

This is an issue that has been on my mind for about a week now.

You know how I said in my first post that my blog would also be privy to my general wonderings?  Well, here goes.

YOLO. It's everywhere. Whether it's hashtagged on twitter, moaned about on facebook, plastered on t-shirts (yes, I have seen them, they do exist), there's no escaping the "YOLO" craze.

For those who have been hiding under a hole for the last year or so, YOLO is an acronym for "You Only Live Once."  Spoken aloud, it's pronounced like "Polo" but with a "Y", obviously.

The thing is, shouting out "YOLO!" has become taboo. Suddenly, this seemingly laissez-faire, "I don't give a flying pig's bum" mantra, when typed or spoken in a non-ironic way, is something to be sneered at.

"YOLO? Oh my God, you did not just say that. How chavvy."

Or even a simple yet effective "Shut up." With maybe some expletives thrown in for good measure.

In a linguistic sense, maybe the "o" assonance hits to close to home with yobbish chants.  After all, you never hear anyone say "YOLO" quietly. It's always shouted - it's brash and loud.

The problem is, people use this mantra to do stupid, sometimes even dickish (sorry mother) things.  They use it as an excuse. 

Drank too much and threw up over some innocent bystanders? "YOLO!"

Snogging 6 girls in one night? "YOLO!"

Starting a fight with someone who's given you beef? "YOLO!"

Somewhere, somehow, the meaning behind the mantra has gotten lost.  It's latin, more sophisticated equivalent - if you like - is "Carpe Diem", or "Seize the day."

Has anyone ever used that in a pejorative sense?  No.  Carpe Diem is always equated with doing inspiration things, living your life to the max, etc.

The point is, I went a bit "YOLO" crazy the other week on Halloween.  I usually dress quite modestly, but this year I decided, Screw it, I'm going to wear tight clothing and yes, my bum will be out for the world to see.  After all, YOLO!

Now, saying that does not make me a chav.  I don't believe simply saying YOLO should categorise a person as yobbish, pathetic and likely to do stupid things.  That is the category I was immediately put into, and I was looked down upon for it.  Tutting ensued.  I could have said "Carpe Diem" but I didn't.  So sue me!

Will this stop me saying YOLO?  Hell no.

You really do only live once.  Why should anyone be punished for pointing this fact out?  Yes, some people do exploit this, but people will always exploit things! That, my friends, is human nature.

But if a girl wants to throw caution to the wind, wear those almost indecent leggings and have a good time, let her "YOLO" away her night away in peace.


  1. http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/24913314.jpg

    the only time Yolo should be used.


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