Are You Part Of Generation YOLN*? (*You Only Live Now)


by Katie Glass |
Published on

Instagram is so last season. At London Fashion Week, Snapchat ruled the FROW. The social network once reserved for teenagers to send self-destructing sexts to their boyfriends is now being used by Anna Wintour. Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior are all Snapchatting. And Burberry and Topshop have even released new LFW collections on it.

Trend-spotters Future Foundation suggest Snapchat is an app Millennials love because its instantaneous nature reflects an increasing desire for fleeting, spontaneous experiences: deciding in a moment to book an Airbnb in Amsterdam instead of saving up for months for that mini-break.

We are a generation hooked on the ephemeral, for whom the slogan YOLO (You Only Live Once) isn’t fleeting enough. Now we prefer YOLN (You Only Live Now). Having grown up with the internet, Millennials are accustomed to speed and quick to move on. Also, it’s a money thing. With student-loan repayments, low salaries, sky-high rents, never mind property prices, spare cash tends to go on something fun. Indeed, last month the Financial Times caused a storm with a report entitled: ‘Why Millennials go on holiday instead of paying into their pension.’

Apps have also instilled this mentality in us. For example, one fashion-obsessive friend moans that trying to keep her feed fresh means she’s changing into several outfits a day. While on Twitter, we are used to conversations that escalate in seconds before evaporating. One moment we’re watching Kanye have a breakdown, the next we’re following the US elections.

This YOLN mentality is reinforced by the mantra of mindfulness: telling us we should Live In The Moment. And, last week, scientists even proved this way of living was beneficial for our health, after a new study found that people who took part in regular mindfulness showed reduced levels of stress in brain scans.

While our parents wanted things to last for life, we don’t mind ‘planned obsolescence’. Like limited-edition labels or Nike May y trainers, designed to fall apart after 100km. We don’t buy DVDs, we’ve got Netflix; we don’t collect CDs, we log on to Spotify. Many Millennials won’t buy their own home. As a result, we are less materialistic. No one wants to cart a flat-screen TV between flatshares, so why not blow the money on holidays in treehouses and Glastonbury tickets?

We inherited insecure circumstances, but far from being depressed by them, our YOLN attitude makes us exible, optimistic and entrepreneurial: perfectly placed to excel in a world in which start-ups appear and vanish, careers demand constantly changing skill sets, and our love lives and home lives force us to keep moving on. The focus is on building lives rich in experience rather than just plain rich. So here’s to the here and now – because really, it’s all we’ve got.

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