I hate chat-based acronyms, the LOLs, the LMAOs (or its longer, dopier offshoot ROFLMAO).
Rarely, if ever, are they used honestly, because, really, who laughs out loud that often or actually gets on the floor and rolls around while laughing? Their overuse helps drive up the annoyance factor, and there are no signs of them stopping anytime soon.
One newish one, however, must be stopped immediately: FML.
For the fortunate uniformed, FML is short for “Fuck My Life.”
I’ve yet to meet anyone who actually deserved to use FML, mainly because most people who qualify for it aren’t spending their days on Facebook or Twitter. When I was in Haiti, for instance, not one child (even the ones who were clearly starving) offered up a single use of FML. Anne Frank didn’t write, “Dear Diary, yet another day hiding from the Nazis and trying to avoid being savagely murdered. FML.”
Perhaps I’ve just reached the Andy Rooney Category, but I’m afraid we’re turning into a nation of whiners more obsessed with complaining about our lives than we are with trying to do anything about it. It’s easier to post emo-rific status updates followed by FML than it is to actively question yourself with “What can I do to improve this situation?”
I know that each generation looks at the next with certain levels of distaste, just like my parents looked at grunge music and gangster rap in the mid-1990s, but this just seems a tad different. My generation might have been comprised of slackers who did nothing, but I fully believe that’s today’s youth who not only do nothing, they also then complain about how they’ve been so emotionally scarred by someone they may never be able to do anything again. Then, of course, they write about via social networking. If we are Generation X, then they’re Generation Ehh.
I guess this is the point where I shake my fist at the kids and their damned Internets, but I’m really not trying to be a cantankerous old man. What I’d like is for people, particularly those my age or older who have started embracing this FML ideology, to try to take a few moments and realize that maybe, just maybe, life isn’t quite as bad you might think. Yes, some bad things befall us from time to time, but that’s part of life (and for heaven’s sake, please stop treating Facebook like your own personal journal). Maybe we can all try some personal accountability at making ourselves happy. Maybe we can even reach out to others who might need a lift, actually using social networking to, you know, network. And maybe then, we’ll stop being quite so soft and spoiled, so weak and whiny and put FML away for good.
If not, well, then I guess we’re all effed.