Are you happy when you do your work? You are concerned about your studies, assignments, and career. Are these concerns truly the right thing for you? Don’t you think that you are careless about your future self? A new trend that is in vogue; living faithfully for your current life rather than preparing for the future. It is called 'YOLO’. YOLO is an abbreviation of “You Only Live Once.” Let's take a closer look at the recent trend of YOLO.
1. YOLO’s Entrance and Social Background.
YOLO is defined in the NAVER dictionary as the attitude that consumes most of their happiness. And Professor Kim Nan-Doo of Seoul National University defines it as a life style version of Carpe Diem (Trend Korea, 2017).
The word YOLO appeared in 2011 in the song “The Motto”, by Drake in which he said, “you only live once, that’s the motto, … YOLO.” Barack Hussein Obama, the former president of the United States, made headlines by making references to YOLO. In March 2016, young people learned about YOLO by saying it to a foreign woman who met actor Ryoo June-Yeol from the TV show, Africa episode on Youth over flower; and the YOLO episode on Infinite challenge ranges over it. YOLO has become popular with singing, celebrities and entertainment programs.
However, YOLO has not become well-known just because celebrities use it. Changes in our society also have greatly affected it. In the past, Korea experienced a rapid economic growth, known as ‘the miracle of the Han River’. GDP per capital in Korea had dramatically risen and consequently, interest rates remained at an elevated level. But recently, interest rate have been around 1-2%. After the rapid growth, Korea has been experiencing slow growth. In other words, young people are living in a different economic environment than their parents’ generation, who experienced high growth. In the old days, our society suppressed its individual desires and was uniform, but now individual tastes and values are more important. It is important to enjoy your own life in the present rather than looking forward to the future.
2. Trend that is changing through YOLO
YOLO is changing a lot of things in our lives. People didn’t have enough time to enjoy their hobbies in the past. Many of them had no hobby at all or had just one. The YOLO tends to turn one to various hobbies rather than having just one hobby. The young, who love to challenge new things, are rising in number due to the low barriers to activity.
Second, the pattern of consumption has changed. People had bought schematically before. These days, people use their money as they feel. Various shopping malls have been organizing a new event using “YOLO” as a slogan. Also, spontaneous shopping can sometimes be cheaper. For example, airline tickets, travel, accommodation and performances with a short deadline are sold at low prices. The rate of travel ticket sales at Ticket Monster rose 95% in 2017 from 2016. This change in consumption patterns led to the advent of a new type of card for the YOLO. This card offers discounts tailored to YOLO people who prefer spontaneous consumption and activities. Shinhan Card has attracted the attention of YOLO people by launching a “YOLO My Card” and “YOLO Triple Plus”. It has some benefits when you spend money at convenience stores, coffee shops and online shopping.
Third is a daily change. We are living forward to the future without knowing it. Even what you are working on now is for the future. Of course, if you enjoy doing what you are doing now, it is most desirable, but how many modern people are happy and have the aptitude for doing their job? Sadly, most college students’ majors don’t suit their aptitude. In a survey of 484 college students in 2014, participants were asked, "Do you regret your choice of major?”; 72.7% of students answered that they regret it. They study their major and do a lot of work for four years, however, if their majors don’t fit their aptitude, they end up wasting four years. There is also much more stress when you work. Is it working for the future?
People are working to earn money just to pay for their living, marriage, children, and old age funds. The YOLOs sometimes make a bold choice in life with an unpredictable future. They quit their school, and work and live for the present. Many YOLO people go traveling. They raise money by closing an installment savings account. Also, they have a new hobby that they have not learned before because they had no time. This way, YOLO brings big and small changes in our lives.
3. Seeing YOLO from another View
Did YOLO, a new trend, just bring positive changes to our lives? Let's take a look at the background of YOLO. If you have quit school or a job, how would your life be now or in the future? YOLO does not only mean savoring the current moment is important. It is natural for us to live our lives by preparing for the future.
YOLOs are trying to enjoy the present, not the future. As mentioned earlier, in the past, interest rates were high and could lead to a stable future. How is it now? Many people are working for the future. Think about days when we took our entrance examination. We struggled with study three years to go to college and even competed with friends. And now we are studying a lot of major studies and assignments as university students. What is the reason for college admissions and graduation? Maybe most of the answers will be 'employment' rather than that “I want to study and learn more about my major”.
Finally, the purpose of college admission is not to study but to have a prospective career. If we can be sure about the future, YOLOs may not have appeared for life in society. YOLO emerged because of an uncertain future. For young people, who feel anxious and hopeless, YOLO may be an escape from reality, not a breakthrough. Youth of South Korea are facing a sad reality. As they are young, they should be more creative and defiant, but instead, they are just frustrated by a hopeless future. You must think not only about the new trend of YOLOs but also about how and why they have appeared in our society. We should not let the youth be abandoned and frustrated. We have to worry about how they can hope for the future again. Of course, it won't be easy. However, we need to come up with a new solution to deal with new changes.
Someone says that YOLA is also important in preparing for the age of 100. YOLA is the abbreviation for “Young people need pensions, Ongoing wealth management, Long-term investment, and Asset allocation.” There is no right answer because each person lives with their own value. It is necessary to financially prepare to live a life of 100 years. Some people claim YOLA as well as YOLO.
4. YOLO and you?
So far, we have learned about YOLO. How about you? Although work is boring, someone still works steadily for their future. The first consideration is your own decision, not by another person.
If you try to quit school or work, acquaintances would try to stop you. However, you would still be unwilling to do a task that does not suit your taste. It is important to listen to advice from your surroundings. But more importantly, you should try to know yourself. It is advisable to make a careful decision as you talk to yourself about what you like, what you dislike and what you want to do.
I can't decide whether YOLO is good or not. As mentioned above, the choice is yours. People who follow the concept of 'YOLO' refer to taking a break from their depressive lives and at the same time, preparing for their future. Other people say they work just for their future. I support those who live their lives, whether it is as a YOLO group or not. I support those who seek experiences and happiness rather than only material consumption. < Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >