Why I dislike the term #YOLO
I know a lot of you love it, but I think the hashtag #YOLO is kinda stupid. Okay, it’s not that it’s stupid, I just dislike how it’s being used. Especially because people seem to be using it as an excuse to justify their excessive or unnecessary spending. Whoops, look what I’ve done! Oh well, I’ll worry about it later! It drives me nuts.
Why did YOLO becomes so popular? Was there seriously a problem of people thinking we lived twice?
— Not Will Ferrell (@itsWillyFerrell) February 6, 2013
And what was once a simple message about taking chances and overcoming fear in order to better our lives, has been completely lost.
I love the original concept behind the phrase. In my life, taking chances has led to the best things in life – like deciding to move to the USA for university to pursue NCAA sports, quitting my job and becoming a freelancer, or breaking up with a long-term boyfriend. But there’s a big difference between living life in the moment and making completely irresponsible decisions.
Despite what you see when you search Twitter, #YOLO shouldn’t be about whipping out your credit card for a last-minute vacation to Mexico. It’s not about spending your student loans on beer, going on a weekend shopping spree, buying a home you cannot afford, or doing things you’ll end up regretting (like thinking it’s ok to have credit cad debt when you’re young because “every student has debt!”). And it is absolutely NOT about justifying your spending. #YOLO is about living your life to the fullest, and seizing opportunities when they come up – but only if they’re worth it. And only if they make your present (and future) life better.
Sure, life is short. But at the same time, life is actually kinda long. We could all die tomorrow, but we could also live to be 100. And I don’t know about you, but since I’m only going to live once, I want to lead the most fun and exciting life I can make for myself – without the stress of dealing with poor financial and life decisions.
But, the phrase #YOLO will likely be around for a while. So instead of using it to justify questionable decisions, let’s all start using it to promote positive life changes. Maybe then we can bring the original meaning back to the phrase.
— Krystal Yee (@krystalatwork) February 1, 2013
Author: Krystal Yee
I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.