You Only Live Once

“Hey, YOLO!”

Usually when you hear this term today, you look around for the idiot doing something that could potentially get him/her into a dangerous or troublesome situation.

Everyone’s heard this term used in today’s society, but where did it come from, what does it mean, and why did it become so popular?

YOLO a commonly used acronym for the phrase, or motto, “you only live once”. This term has infiltrated the popular culture of today. Originally, the meaning of such phrase was understood as a reminder for everyone to enjoy life. This is similar to the saying carpe diem; “seize the day” reminding us that you don’t know what tomorrow will bring, so don’t wait; do everything you want to do and live life without regrets.

While the phrase, “you only live once” has been used for over a century, and was recently used by two artists (The Strokes, and JVC), the shortened acronym, as it is: “YOLO”, became popular in 2011 when Drake came out with a new song “The Motto”. This term has adapted a new definition as it is used today and is used most widely understood as an excuse for irresponsible and irrational behavior. This modification is due to the people who have embraced this phrase, and the way they have portrayed the concept of it. Starting with Drake, in his song, the lyrics glorify a dangerous and lawless lifestyle has he degrades women, ultimately reducing them to objects of sex. The way the “good life” is portrayed by celebrities is often the life the public aspires to. This is how YOLO has become a justification for otherwise unacceptable conduct.

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One Response to You Only Live Once

  1. John Collins says:

    Next step: which theories to use? I’d like to hear more….

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