The Defining DecadeI just finished reading “The Defining Decade – Why your twenties matter and how to make the most of them now” by Meg Jay. A must read for anyone who’s ever been twenty, or plans on going through their twenties any time soon. I had some revelations about myself — like, dumb luck played a big part in how I traversed that terrain!, as well as some insights into the twenty-somethings around me — like, OMG, this is why they use terms like FOMO, YOLO, IDK, WE and many more.

HUH? You know, those texting shorthands like LOL. So what are these others, and why do they come to mind after reading about twenty-somethings? [Note: they’re not mentioned in the book, it’s just what popped into my head as I was reading.]

YOLO – You Only Live Once – What’s the rush? Why commit now? Chillax. Don’t miss out on your youth. Thirty is the new Twenty. Stay loose and free. There’s a sense of don’t get tied-down or locked-in too early. Look at what happened to my parents. There’s plenty of time for that in your Thirties. This trend and its drawbacks are confirmed in The Defining Decade. Meg Jay presents data that shows how the Twenties are a never-to-be-repeated sweet spot in your life – the Thirties are often too late for many things. (… you have to read it!)

FOMO – Fear of Missing Out – This gnawing, unsettling undercurrent is exacerbated by social sites such as Facebook. Saturday night “Snapchats“, cheery “selfies” and play-by-play”Instagrams” from parties, bars and enviously fun gatherings gloss over any hidden traumas in life. Hard to ignore. Intellectually you can dismiss them, but emotionally they take their toll. Meg Jay demonstrates the many ways this can undermine happiness and how to put this beast back in the cage.

IDK – I Don’t Know – The answer to many texts, as well as many questions asked. What’s the plan? Next year? Next month? Next week? Even tonight?!!!! The planning horizon has shortened. Again, it’s a clear trend, I even see some of these shifts in myself. However, strategizing on the overall game plan can help mitigate the downsides of the IDK-syndrome.

WE – What ever! – I give up. I don’t care. I don’t even have the energy to explain it, argue about it, or defend it. Think what you like, I’m moving on to the next thing. When you don’t have much invested in anything, “whatever” will do. The problem is that it’s not very satisfying.

Did I mention that you must read this book yet? LOL šŸ™‚


About lynnmorstead

Writing about the small things that shape our lives
This entry was posted in Culture, Millenials, Society, Young Adults and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to FOMO, YOLO, IDK, and WE

  1. Rhonda says:

    I tend to agree with maximizing the things you do in your 20s. Settling to early leads to mistakes, in my opinion, however that being said, I joined Exxon at 21 and had a very satisfying 34 year career and hopefully an equally long 34+ year retirement. Sometimes you luck into the right thing early, like some marriages! But “whatever” drives me crazy. People do need to care about things, and do need to be able to articulate why they believe what they do….if they believe in anything. What I think though is that we are moving to a Que Sera Sera society — everyone can do anything they want, and no one will speak up and say “hey, that’s not acceptable”. We don’t want to embarrass anyone with behavioral gaffes. It’s sad.

  2. Rhonda says:

    YIKES — Here you have defined FOMO for me (Fo’ Me!!) and I had forgotten it already!

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