One of my favorite things about working with teens over the years has been the fun phrases, words or acronyms they come up with and how cool they think they are when they used them. We wanted to feel included so a few co-workers and I once tried to bring back some of our favorite words like Rad. Needless to say it did not catch on.
So I want to let you know of a new phrase that is catching on all over the country. It is “YOLO” and it stands for You Only Live Once. The popularity of the motto came with the release of the song “The Motto” by Drake and Tyga.
When I have talked to teens, they say it is mainly used between friends in a fun way. For instance if a group of teens are shooting hoops and one teen does a crazy shot and makes it, he may say “YOLO” afterwards.
On another scale, it can also be used as a form of peer pressure. If teens are egging a someone on or daring them to do something they may not want to do they may pressure the teen and say “YOLO.”
On a third level teens are also using it like an excuse to do something they should not. One youth worker shared that a teen in school yelled “YOLO” and then threw food across the cafeteria.
Hopefully if you had heard this phrase already you asked some teens and learned what it meant. If not, now you are in the know.
Are there other words or phrases you are hearing teens use a lot recently? Or do you have other examples of how teens are using the phrase YOLO?