You only live once. It’s a true statement, but lately, it has become more than that.
#YOLO is everywhere on Twitter and Facebook. It has become an excuse for anything from wearing sandals with socks to running red lights.
I enjoy reading the ridiculous tweets and statuses as much as anyone, but after giving the phrase some thought, I realized that maybe there is more to #YOLO than condescending phrases and random actions.
I think that we should take the #YOLO trend and make something more out of it. Call me idealistic, but I believe #YOLO should be taken as encouragement to live our lives to the fullest and make something of ourselves.
However, there are some people who have used the phrase in a downright concerning way. I was perusing my Twitter updates recently and I came upon a tweet that read, “Killing yourself. #YOLO.”
I was shocked by this tweet because I know plenty of people who have been severely affected by suicidal thoughts and actions, and I don’t find it a topic to joke about. This is an extreme case, but I found it disturbing that someone thinks #YOLO could serve as justification for suicide.
Also, #YOLO should not serve as an excuse for reckless or inconsiderate actions. I found the following tweets in bad taste:
“Attempting a drive-by with a water gun. #YOLO.” The act of shooting a water gun is not illegal, but you could cause a lot of panic and harm if people believe you are using a real gun.
“Giving a homeless person an expired gift card to McDonald’s. #YOLO.” Ironic, yes. Humane, not at all, and another example of a prank I could see being done in the name of YOLO.
I hope that people don’t actually take these tweets seriously, and I am not saying that #YOLO is a bad thing. I just think that we should change our mindset about what #YOLO implies.
Why don’t I ever see tweets that say, “Paying for someone’s food in the drive-thru. #YOLO”?
Those are the kind of tweets I would prefer because everyone can use a little encouragement about how to live a fulfilled, generous life.
#YOLO could be used as the perfect springboard for promoting a more positive approach to living our lives. So many of the tweets I see now are condescending and rude toward others, and I don’t see why we can’t turn that around and make #YOLO a more positive trend.
Making the most of your life. #YOLO.
Baihly Warfield can be reached at email@example.com.