Define “FML”

Brace yourself for this news:


I’m not particularly “hip.”


In fact, I’m pretty sure I was using “groovy” in the late 90s, which means I was at least two decades behind on that particular phrase.


I sent my first text message in 2008. Wikipedia says the first text message sent was in 1992, so you do the math on how far behind the curve I was on that one.


Because I’m so un-cool, it takes me awhile to figure things out. (For the record, I’ve never “gotten” the scarf phase or a Snugli. There’s nothing wrong with this… just haven’t figured out how to get on board.) For example, it took me two days to decode the “c u l8r” text message from a friend.


I’ve become used to being naive in some areas, so it took me months and months to actually Google the “fml” tag I saw on so many facebook posts. Now, boy, do I wish I hadn’t figured it out.


Not only do I now have a curse word I don’t want in my brain every time I see it (come on, I can’t be the only one who un-shortens acronyms when I see them! From the CDC to ttyl, I always read the letters as their whole words),  but I’m remembering all the times I’ve seen “fml” on a status update.


Here’s a list of some “fml” references I can remember from the past few months:


  • Overslept for class.
  • Car battery dead.
  • Had to stay late at work because of someone else’s mistake.
  • Patriots lost.
  • Catching a cold.
  • Neighbor played music all night and sleep was interrupted.
  • Bank was closed and couldn’t make a deposit.
  • Computer crashed.
  • Kid is teething.


At the risk of being incredibly rude… are these really situations that require a “fml”?


I’m not saying you shouldn’t use the term if the term actually fits the situation. (At that point it’s a matter of taste.) But “fml” gives me the impression there should be something truly awful taking place that far exceeds the experience of the fast food joint being out of Dr. Pepper when that’s what you’ve been craving all day.


Take a look at this poster:


I don’t think we have to compare our hurts with everyone in the world. Our hurts are real and valid.

But is it too much to ask that people not mention the “fml” without taking a moment to realize they’re updating their status on a social media platform they only have access to because they’re residents of a country with one of the highest standards of living in the world?

That their smart phone cost more to purchase than families live on in a year in Vietnam? The internet they are connected to works and isn’t monitored by an oppressive government? They don’t live in fear that soldiers could come and legally rape them whenever they choose? That their children and nieces and nephews and neighbors aren’t literally starving to death or dying from diarrhea because they drank unclean water out of thirsty desperation?

Is “fml” really a phrase that should be commonly thrown around? Really?

A friend suggested I start using the phrase “LML” – “love my life.” I think I will. Want to join me?

This post was originally published March 1, 2012 and is being recycled as part of the “I’ve Been Around” summer! Hope you enjoyed it and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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5 thoughts on “Define “FML”

  • March 2, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Thank you for once again reminding all of us to keep things in perspective. I wish more people would remember to feel and show gratitude for the blessings they have, but overlook, in their lives everyday.

  • March 2, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    This blog made my throat tighten and eyes start to well up. Thank you for reminding us all just how blessed and fortunate we are! We have so much to be thankful for…LML

  • March 3, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Well said.

    A wise friend once reminded me that “joy is a direct result of choosing thankfulness”. That truth has changed my life. On a wall in our house, we have some paper taped to the wall — our Gratitude List. Everyone in the family is encouraged to write on it. We have listed huge things (our baby who survived tremendous odds) and simple things (smiles and tissues and socks), but every one of those things is a visible reminder of how undeservedly blessed we are.

  • Pingback: C U L8R, Yo | Stealing Faith

  • January 22, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    I also have a HUGE issue with “FML” and in fact had a facebook rant against it myself last year sometime. I love “LML” and am also going to start using it! Thanks!


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