Carpe Diem vs. #YOLO

I think it can safely be said that #YOLO is officially and indubitably a “thing”.

My Twitter is even more neglected than this blog is (which is certainly saying something) and even I can see a veritable pandemic of tweets involving #YOLO. It has even spread over to Facebook, hashtag included, damn it. Side note here, unless you’re making a sarcastic jab at those who use the hashtag on Facebook, please use the appropriate symbology for each social network you frequent. Seriously, it looks dumb otherwise.

Anywho, like any other fad, there are those who can’t get enough, and those who want to kill aforementioned fad with all the eternal fires of Hell itself. The latter group (of whom I was until very recently a member) will often lash out at the fad’s proponents with comical jabs that attempt to invalidate what the fad stands for.

One of my personal favorites:

But of course, there are those responses that lean more towards insulting, such as:

And at first I was like, “Hey, that’s totally right LOLZ!” But is it right? I am now beginning to doubt myself. Let’s take a look at this.

Carpe diem translates from Latin as, literally, “Seize the day.” #YOLO is the acronym for “You Only Live Once.” These ideas, while similar, are by no means the same thing but there is a correlation.

I submit that one is the cause, and the other is the effect.

Think about it, #YOLO is the representation of the reasoning behind carpe diem. The fact that the life you are living right now, this very moment, is the only one you’ll get puts some added value onto your time. Moments become a finite resource oh-too-precious to be wasted before debt-collector Death comes to collect. So what is our response to this? Like the self-interested animals we are, we want to wring out as much as we can for ourselves. Normally, our solution would be to get more of whatever we wanted more of, but we can’t exactly do so with time. As much as we try, turning back the clock is an impotent act, once time passes it is well and truly gone but we still want a return on our investment. How do we make the best of our time, then?

Truth is, we stretch it to maximum capacity. We try to multitask. We schedule. We move to other projects while waiting for the preceding one to come to fruition. We move fast and furious at all hours, trying to increase productivity to maximum. We seize the day.

And that’s it. The motivating force behind carpe diem is literally just a projection of the human fear of wasting your life away. You have one life to live, so live it to the fullest.

So stop wasting time! Here you are, reading a ranting monologue about petty squabbles on the Internet, while valuable moments slip away! You have a (note, a. Singular) life to live, so live the fullest life you can.

Get out there and carpe the bejesus out of this diem.


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