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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Because I Had a Bad Day… FML!

Diminishing food points, growing to-do lists and pulling all nighters — the end of the semester can get a little stressful. But, many people have found the website fmylife.com, which is letting them share their everyday stories that make them want to shout, “F*** My Life” (FML)!

Launched in January 2009, fmylife.com was originally a French web site. Created by Maxime Valette and Gullaume Passaglia a year earlier, it is now the top entertainment web site in France, receiving over 400,000 hits a day.

“The web site started out as a gathering of friends on an IRC channel as a place to tell each other the crappy things that happened to them that particular day,” fmylife.com’s public relations representative Alan Holding said.

The web site allows members to post everyday stories that show how rough life can get. According to the web site, the only rule is that each story must start out with “today” and end with “FML.” Visitors can then choose to agree or disagree with the story by clicking “I agree, your life is f****ed” or “You deserved that one.”

“I like fmylife.com mainly because if I’m having a bad day or something, the site shows me that things could always be worse,” said Cindy Jones, who found the site through a ‘bumper sticker’ on facebook. “It’s funny — and this is bad to say — but people like to hear about others’ misfortune. I don’t really think most of them are funny, some of them are just plain horrible.”

Some postings like, “Today, I wanted to have a good lunch with my wife before fasting for my surgery which I may not survive, she decided getting her hair cut was more important. I ate alone. FML.” are depressing.

While others, like, “Today, I brought back the puppy I adopted for my family. I spent months doing all the research on puppy care with two young children, and at least five hundred dollars for the dog, the supplies, toys…the whole bit. Turns out everyone’s allergic to her. FML.” are more humorous.

“I think it’s hysterical because it’s almost like ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ as a web site,” Amanda Vidal, a freshman, said. “It’s hard not to laugh because it could have been prevented and it’s just the most intricate ways to mess up.”

According to Holding, the English web site receives more than 1.7 million visits a day.

“It became obvious that an international version was needed, so Maxime and Gullaume were joined by Didier Guedj, and they set about creating the English language version,” Holding said. “We knew from the success of the French version that it would be popular, but we’re quite overwhelmed by the speed in which we’ve reached so many people so quickly!”

While many people enjoy the website, sometimes too much self-pity over time may be a bad thing.

“Although it is good to be able to express emotions that are not targeting others in a hurtful way, there is an aspect of the process of focusing on all the negative things in life that can reinforce the feeling of negativity and for some, hopelessness,” said Mary Behling, a psychiatrist at the Stony Brook University counseling center. “It really depends if this is how someone always looks at their life as opposed to an occasional way of feeling. If others offer helpful suggestions, then it might be a positive resource but if it regresses into a competition of who has it worse it might only be a negative pastime.”

But, for those pessimists who can’t get enough of fmylife.com, a book of the top FML moments is being published in June. In addition, Italian and Spanish versions of the site are in the works.

“The main audience is obviously in the U.S. at the present, but we hope to go global,” Holding said. “At the moment, most of the posters and users are from the U.S.A., but we have many other members from other countries — the U.K., Canada, South Africa, Australia, Poland, Romania and eventually many more countries sharing their woes.”

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