Friday, January 27, 2012

Did You Just Say FML?

If you're over 30, or just out of the loop with the newest lingo, you may have never heard this phrase. So for those who need a quick definition, FML stands for "F*** My Life", and it's a phrase some people use to indicate how, well, f***ed their life is.

It's really quite disturbing. Apparently it's not enough anymore to say that your situation is bad. Now, kids--and far too many adults--are saying that their entire life is just completely f***ed. FML. F my entire life. Everything sucks so much--FML.

Where has this come from? How did a phrase start this quickly and become an acronym so fast? Well, here in Generation Text, it may have even started as an acronym that had to be explained as a phrase. I don't know, and I don't care. What I do care about is how awful this is, and how important it is that we encourage people to stop this, once and for all. I know that my life is not f***ed, and neither is yours. Do we have struggles, challenges, maybe outright disasters and upheavals? Yes. But our life itself is not in any way f***ed!

I'm not going to feed you some New Age baloney that you won't want to listen to anyway. But I am going to plead with you not to throw around phrases like this that reduce your life to the equivalent of a squashed bug on the sidewalk. Besides it being a gross exaggeration anyway, it's also far too pithy a throwaway phrase for something that should be treated with a lot more respect than the letters F, M, and L could possibly contain.

What's even crazier is that some have found FML to be too weak! FML is just not doing it for some people. So they've found a way to add another modifier to the phrase, to the acronym. And that's when FMFL was created. That's right, F*** My F***ing Life. How nice.

This has gone from sad to ridiculous in no time, but more importantly it's once again just a horrible example of people turning the most insignificant stumbles in their life into something much more dramatic than it is. I have to work overtime again. FML. I got only 3 hours' sleep last night and have to drive 300 miles today. FML.

Really? I'd point people to cancer patients or rape victims, widows of fallen soldiers or children starving to death. Does your use of the phrase FML really hold water now? And more importantly, not even cancer patients would use such a phrase. And that's because the more you struggle in life with something really horrible, the more you appreciate all of the great things you do have in your life.

So if you use this phrase, please stop. And if you hear someone else use it, please consider telling them to stop doing so. Your life is not f***ed. Your day, week, month, or year may not be the greatest. Maybe entire years of your life have been really hard. But your life is a whole lot more than the sum of its recent parts. And it should never, ever be reduced to such a throwaway definition.

ILML, and I hope you will love yours too!

Sean Patrick Brennan
Malverne, New York

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