FML website a forum to vent

Beena Raghavendran | Staff Writer

Even though the phrase, “FML” hasn’t arrived in Webster’s Dictionary, Mason High School craves the failure it brings, according to junior Paige Hecker. The FAQ section of this website describes it as “a space where you can let it all out and unwind by sharing the little things that screw with your day, and maybe realize that you are not alone.”Senior Sri Rajamouli said she can’t get through a school night without hourly doses of FML sentiments.

“[While writing a paper], I’d take FML ‘breaks,’” Rajamouli said. “I’d write one paragraph and be like, ‘Okay, I can read one FML.’ It got me through the day.”
FMyLife.com, the American spin-off of the French-based website with a similar name, currently gets 2.6 million visits a month since its creation in January of this year. Users post their stories of failure (known as “FML”s), rated by anonymous Internet users as “I agree, your life sucks,” or “You totally deserved it.”

Its FAQ section describes FMyLife.com as “a space where you can let it all out and unwind by sharing the little things that screw with your day, and maybe realize that you are not alone.”

Junior Stephen McMillan said he agrees that FMyLife.com gives users a chance to let out their pent-up frustrations.

“It’s just a way for [the users] to vent,” McMillan said.

Sophomore Matthew McCann said he is an FMyLife. com regular, empathizing with the storytellers, but thankful that he’s not in their shoes.

“It’s amazing, because you don’t feel so bad about your life when you know others’ are worse,” McCann said. “It’s a lot of funny stories, and you think, ‘What would I do if that happened to me?’”
As funny as it may be to some, sophomore Lauren Kinnett said she thinks that several stories are fabricated, sending a pessimistic message to others.

“Half of them are made up,” Kinnett said. “It’s an entire website of bad things.”

Freshman Miranda Miller said she agrees about FMyLife.com’s negativity. “They say ‘FML’ after everything,” Miller said. “That’s pretty pessimistic.”

On the other hand, freshman Eric Reiman said he thinks viewers of the site don’t judge the victims of failure.

“I don’t look down on people,” Reiman said. “If they post it, they do it so we read it.”

Junior Drew Sanders said he doesn’t mock the users, either.

“When people look at it, they don’t make fun of you as much because they laugh with you, not at you,” Sanders said.

But it’s not just this generation that discusses life’s ups and downs, according to AP American History teacher Darin Little. This concept of sharing and networking has been going on for awhile, Little said.

“I think America’s always been social,” Little said. “There have always been gossip columns and different media outlets, [people] trying to find what’s going on.”

Similarly, Honors Pre-Calculus teacher Johnothon Sauer said he thinks that FMyLife.com has always been around, just in different forms.

“[FML is] nothing new, just a written version of America’s Funniest Home Videos,” Sauer said. “You know, far more inappropriate, but it’s the same basic concept.”

As for what it’s doing to society and culture, Sauer said he thinks today’s generation needs to use its energy for more productive things.

“It’s narcissism to the extreme . . . opposed to trying to focus on what people really need,” Sauer said.

Though culture today emphasizes success, senior Maddie Slutsky said she doesn’t think that our occasional failures bring us down.

“It’s not that we’re attracted to failure; it’s just funny,” Slutsky said. “We strive not to fail, but it’s funny when we do.”