Why Do Teen Use Words Such As YOLO And FOMO In Social Media?
Words have a lot of power. Teen slang phrases and acronyms like YOLO (You Only Live Once) and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) may have a big impact on a teenager’s or adolescent’s behavior.
Although adolescent slang’s behavioral repercussions are not necessarily bad, the mindset conveyed by these words may lead to hazardous decisions, such as taking illicit substances. When parents understand what these abbreviations imply and what they mean for teenagers, they can assist their children avoid risky conduct.
The Origins and Uses of Teen Slang
Teen slang is a term for the internal language and adaptive communication that each generation of adolescents develops. Teen lingo like this reflects current events and popular culture. Technology has a huge impact on the evolution of adolescent slang for millennials (born between 1981 and 1996), Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2009), and ultimately Generation Alpha (born between 2010 and 2025). The speed and sophistication of today’s digital communication obviously influences the development of this vocabulary, from tweets to texting.
Having a shared language among teenagers fosters a feeling of belonging that is independent of parents and other adults. “The examination of the paradigmatic characteristics of adolescent slang has revealed that a feeling of togetherness is predominant,” according to recent research. The notion of depending on a maintained feeling of unity and acceptability is a human desire, particularly among adolescents or young people, but this coherent linguistic technique is not deliberately meant to exclude unwelcome individuals from discussions or shared understanding.”
While adolescent lingo isn’t intended to exclude people, it may keep parents in the dark.
The History of YOLO
Before we look at how YOLO and FOMO sparked adolescent wants and anxieties, let’s take a look at how these two iconic instances of 21st-century teen lingo got their start. YOLO and FOMO are, in a way, two sides of the same coin. FOMO is a dread of missing out on the experience, while YOLO is an adventurous, optimistic statement about “going for it.”
“You only live once” (YOLO) is a modernized form of the Latin phrase Carpe diem, which literally means “seize the day.” Because you only have one life, you should make the most of it, even if it means engaging in risky behaviors.
Although the origins of the phrase “You only live once” is unknown, the prominent personalities who popularized the slogan are easy to identify. Drake, a Canadian rapper, coined the phrase in “The Motto,” a bonus track from his 2011 album Take Care, according to Forbes magazine. According to the Forbes article, Adam Mesh, a competitor on the NBC reality program The Average Joe, was the first to say “YOLO” on camera while he was a contestant on the show in 2004.
In addition, the renowned indie band the Strokes released a song named “You Only Live Once” in 2006. The band launched a promotional campaign dubbed “Operation YOLO” to promote the song, which has received over 16 million views on YouTube.
Who was the first to coin the term “fear of missing out” (FOMO)?
FOMO’s genesis is much more difficult to pinpoint. Patrick J. McGinnis, a venture investor and novelist, is generally credited with popularizing the term. In an op-ed for Harvard Business School’s magazine in 2004, he coined the term to characterize the social lives of his graduate students. Their lives were frantic, according to McGinnis, since they all dreaded missing out on anything that their classmates were doing.
YOLO and FOMO have entered the general vocabulary, regardless of their origins or subsequent popularizations as adolescent slang acronyms. Several recent research have shown a link between these words and specific adolescent behavior.
YOLO and the Psychological Effects of Teen Slang
Many studies have shown a clear connection between adolescent hazardous behavior and song lyrics. For example, from 2009 to 2013, research published in the Journal of Health Communication titled “Drunk in Love: The Portrayal of Risk Behavior in Music Lyrics” looked at the top 20 Billboard singles.
Researchers compiled a list of references to casual sex, drug use, and a lack of concern for the repercussions of risky actions. “Alcohol and sex were most frequently linked with disregard for consequences in2011, when the ‘you only live once’ slogan was most popular,” they discovered. Furthermore, “these results are worrisome since exposure to popular music is linked with higher risk behaviors for teenagers and young adults, who are the largest consumers of music,” they found.
Another recent research demonstrates how the YOLO mentality encourages young people in England to engage in risky drug use. The 2015 research, which was published in the academic journal Frontiers of Psychology, looked at young people’s nitrous oxide intake and perceptions. Many teenagers had a “relaxed attitude about the substance (‘yolo, you only live once, so why not’),” according to the researchers. As a result, they found that a lack of risk awareness may lead to increased consumption habits, making adolescents more vulnerable to negative consequences and hazards.
Teen Slang’s Behavioral Influences on FOMO
FOMO was described as “the uncomfortable and often all-consuming sensation that you’re missing out—that your peers are doing, knowing about, or possessing more or something better than you” in a 2013 review study. This uncomfortable sensation was expressed by three-quarters of young people.
In addition, 2018 research published in the Journal of Psychiatry and Brain Functions looked at the link between alcohol-related outcomes and the FOMO mentality among college students. Students who were more prone to “fear missing out” had twice as many incidents of alcohol-related injury in the three months leading up to the research as those who were less likely to “fear missing out.”
“FOMO is a risk factor for suffering alcohol-related harm among college students,” the researchers found after evaluating the findings. Our research found that those who are afraid of missing out are more prone to engage in hazardous conduct while drinking alcohol. As a result, issues like FOMO may be essential to address in order to minimize alcohol-related harm.”
YOLO and FOMO are, for the most part, innocuous phrases that teenagers use because their peers do. The usage of adolescent slang, on the other hand, may be a red signal in particular situations and settings, suggesting a greater risk of hazardous conduct. Parents must monitor their teen’s general behavior, attitude, relationships, and other mental health markers to identify which is which.