Teen Tuesday: YOLO!
The topic for this Thursday’s Girls Discussion – YOLO!
For those of you unhip, old fogeys who don’t know what YOLO means (I’m just teasing, I didn’t know until this last year), YOLO is an acronym for “You Only Live Once.” It’s kind of similar to the phrase, Carpe Diem – Seize the Day! Although harmless in meaning, kids are using it these days as an excuse to do something reckless or bad. Below are some actual YOLO quotes I pulled from the Internet to give you an idea:
Get on the self-checkout line. Only ring up half your items. YOLO!
If you don’t do stupid things while you’re young, you won’t have anything to laugh about when you’re old. (Not a YOLO line, but same message)
I’m going to ruin my body but oh well, you only live once!
You only live once so “f” it up right.
Live Fast, Die Young. YOLO!
Left the seat down. YOLO!
Okay, so that last one was just funny. Many people have become sick of this phrase and use it to simply be funny or ridiculous. But it’s the concept I want to talk about – this idea that I only live once, so why not do all these things I know I probably shouldn’t do?
It reminds me of a comment someone had on a Teen Tuesday post a while back. She said the problem today is that kids aren’t taught shame anymore. So many kids are being brought up by helicopter parents who constantly rescue them from their mistakes, do things for them, and don’t give them consequences. These same kids are also taught that there is no such thing as losing, everyone wins, and everyone gets to play so that nobody’s feelings get hurt. What have we taught our youth? We’ve taught them they can do whatever they want because they either won’t have consequences or someone will bail them out if they do. Plus, since there’s no such thing as losing and they feel they can do anything, risks don’t really become that risky anymore?
As if that kind of upbringing isn’t enough, add TV shows and movies like Road Trip, Accepted, American Pie, Old School, Varsity Blues, Secret Life of the American Teenager, That 70s Show, Friday Night Lights, and Gossip Girl, which portray this lifestyle as not only normal but fun and exciting. They promote the idea that high school and college are for making stupid mistakes, having a ton of fun, partying, drinking, having casual sex, and generally making a fool of yourself. The basic premise is you’d better live it up while you’re young before you become old and have to be responsible.
But what about practicing responsibility when you’re young? If you don’t practice it as a teenager, how will you know how to be responsible when you’re an adult? Also, what are the consequences in the meantime?
After reading a short devotional the other day, I came up with a theory for all of this. The devo said that the 1970s began a “moral revolution where authority of every kind was questioned, undermined, and ultimately disregarded. And chaos has been the result.” Think about those who were born into the morally-corrupt 70s and never knew any differently (besides having parents that were around before then). They had kids that are now teens and younger. Is this not a generation unlike any other we’ve seen? A generation that feels no shame, often doesn’t feel a sense of inner morality that guides them to do right, has a sense of entitlement and experiments more freely with sex, drinking, and drugs than any other generation? Of course, teens in the past did those things as well, but not nearly as many, not nearly as young, and not nearly as openly. The teens of today have a much harder time with being pure and keeping their Christian, moral standards than we ever had. There is no moral authority anymore that is accepted, so people just go by their own code. It reminds me of Judges 21:25, “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” (In The Message: “People did whatever they felt like doing.”) That’s what’s going on today. Everyone is doing whatever they think is right or whatever they feel like doing because they don’t go by a code of morals anymore.
Sorry, this post is ending as such a downer. Lol! Obviously, our goal is to instill God’s moral standards and remind people, especially young people, that His way is way better than the world’s way. Any verses or comments would be appreciated. Thanks!
~ by Dusty Crabtree - Author of Shadow Eyes on July 17, 2012.