Let’s start this off with a tidbit from Urban Dictionary, as it relates to the word "Yolo."
YOLO: Acronym for You Only Live Once. Mainly used to defend doing something ranging from mild to extreme stupidity.
YOLO, as defined above, reached popularity with the Drake and Lil Wayne song “The Motto.” You need only take to Twitter to see the acronym in action, thousands of times a day all over the country – and probably the world. Here are a few semi-recent tweets:
- Soaking gummy bears in vodka then handing them out to children....#YOLO
- Wearing gymnastics shorts when you're not at gymnastics because #YOLO
- I want to throw a party with fake alcohol and see how many people act wasted. #YOLO
You can decide for yourself how you feel about the motto, which is all over t-shirts these days. (Feel free to share below). I find the whole thing to be pretty deficient of creativity. It’s basically one big cliché, boiled down to an acronym that fits nicely into 140-character tweets that allow people to celebrate their questionable choices, publicly.
A Yolo County resident asked the following question on the website Reddit Sunday, drawing more than 7,000 comments: "I live in Yolo County. What ways have pop culture bastardized the place you live in?" (The comments have to do with everything from Twilight to Farmville. Some are quite funny.)
I’d have likely never thought twice about the whole YOLO thing, except for the fact that I’m the editor of Davis Patch and resident of Davis, which we all know is in Yolo County. I find myself localizing content on Twitter constantly, tweeting stuff that looks something like this:
The #Yolo County Fair opens in Woodland this week.
What happens is that my Tweet gets tagged alongside the guy's Tweet about soaking his gummy bears in vodka.
He only lives once. I happen to live in Yolo County. And yet we both claim "Yolo." WTF? (Another acronym!)
Thanks in large part to the rapper Drake, who , our county name has been more or less hijacked. I'm not saying it matters; I'm just saying it has happened, and as it gets more and more popular, it weirds me out.
A few weeks ago I wondered if I should abandon the #Yolo hashtag to avoid getting mixed with all the kids who are living life to the max (because, after all, they only live once).
But it was our county name before it was their motto and it's guaranteed to fade away in the near future. So I think I'll ride it out.
Do you have any thoughts about YOLO? Share below!
I'm going to bring things full circle and end this column with another Urban Dictionary entry. Here’s the fourth-most-popular definition of YOLO. It made me laugh.
In California's county of Yolo, west of Sacramento, many residents find it funny that our county's name has come to be a sort of meme of hip lingo. It's hilarious to think that beautiful people in NYC might wear shirts that say "YOLO" in giant letters when we have virtually no special reason to have any great local pride.
Example: In fashionable boutiques in Brooklyn's Williamsburg section, track jackets which read "YOLO" sell for $100; but in Yolo County, California, the Chamber of Commerce lost thousands on a run of Yolo County tee-shirts that failed to spark any consumer interest.