The Forum talks 'The YOLO Phenomena' on Hope Nights

The Forum talks ‘The YOLO Phenomena’ on Hope Nights

YOLO (you only live once) is being quoted as the battle cry of a generation, whether that is true or not is debatable. Nonetheless, it has certainly become a prominent catchphrase amongst teens. It is a regularly quoted as a #hashtag in social media to justify certain “live-in-the-moment” actions. “Gonna try dope tonight #yolo”.Parents are […]

By Laura BennettWednesday 8 May 2013Hope NightsChristian LivingReading Time: 2 minutes

The Forum talks the 'YOLO' phenomena on Hope Nights

YOLO (you only live once) is being quoted as the battle cry of a generation, whether that is true or not is debatable. Nonetheless, it has certainly become a prominent catchphrase amongst teens. It is a regularly quoted as a #hashtag in social media to justify certain “live-in-the-moment” actions. “Gonna try dope tonight #yolo”.

Parents are afraid that their teens will rashly try things under the guise of YOLO that could destroy their lives. With a slight shift of focus we can maximize the positive side of YOLO. It can be a great way to encourage your young person to try new things and live a great life. You only live once so don’t let it go to waste.

Teenage brain development is often talked about from the negative aspect as the part of the brain that is associated with choices and consequences is still developing. However, the wonderful thing about that is that young people don’t know that it can’t be done! The bravery needed to succeed in life, which many adults have long forgotten, teenagers still have. I remember learning to ski as a teenager, I had no fear. I was completely audacious and would ski straight down the mountain. People have told me learning to ski as an adult is one of the most terrifying experiences because you know the potential harm. As parents you can nurture this bravery in your teenager. It is a great time in life to try new things. Potentially, the teen years can be the launching pad of their future.

I know a 15-year-old boy who loves to make movies and has demonstrated the upside of YOLO. At the age of 14 he entered Tropfest junior and won the “fearless filmmaking” prize. He entered Tropfest again the following year and got runners-up. He recently won a documentary competition and was also the main camera operator at an event held at the entertainment centre for thousands of people. The obvious success for someone his age is one thing, but the courage to try new things is what is really admirable. We need to stop telling our young people they can’t do things and start focusing on the things they can do! It is time to take a stand against the negative expectations imposed on teenagers by society.

Life is not a dress rehearsal, so encourage them to try new things. Your teen could write a book, aim for a university degree, try public speaking, try a new sport, make a movie or make the sacrificial choices to follow a dream that is different to their peers. Let’s stop looking at the negative aspects of YOLO and starting encouraging our kids to take positive risks and try new things.

Listen Now: Wendy Gilbert chats about the YOLO Phenomena on The Forum with Laura

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