They’re Laughing At You…Not With You

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By Anne Marie Turner > Loyola University, Maryland

My favorite part of the weekend is Sunday afternoon, sitting around with the roommates watching classics like Clueless, Mean Girls, or Finding Nemo.  While the movie plays in the background, you veg on the couch and recap the hilarity that was the weekend: Who kissed who, who fell down, what stupid texts you sent and what ridiculous banter you had with the bartender to get a free drink.  These wonderful moments of reminiscing and gossiping used to be private and constricted to the living room or the kitchen.  Today these stories that you think only your friends’ find funny have become viral.  Through websites, you can tell the world your funny or embarrassing stories so that people everywhere can laugh along with you.  Sorry to break it to you, but most people are just laughing at you.  We are not sure yet if websites like MyLifeIsAverage.com, FMyLife.com, and TextsFromLastNight.com are harmless fun or another step toward the end of privacy.  Take a look at what these websites are all about to make up your own mind:

MyLifeIsAverage.com:
    If you break down these three websites, it is clear that MyLifeIsAverage.com is the tamest of all.  The site’s submissions usually consist of harmless anecdotes that are ordinary.  Each of the submissions clearly proves that the user’s life is, well, average.  It embraces the complete commonness of the daily occurrences.  The site celebrates the little moments in your life that make you smile, like this one:

“Today I was in the library with nothing to do.  I thought I’d go and grab a “Where’s Waldo?” book and waste ten minutes.  I couldn’t find it.  MLIA.”

The irony in this statement is obvious.  This anecdote makes a person smirk and a friend or two would enjoy the story as well, but why do we care about this little moment in a random person’s day?  If this story were told in a normal setting, it would be considered boring.  Just because it is online does not mean that is interesting… or does it?

FMyLife.com:

It’s safe to say that we all know what the “F” stands for in FMyLife.com.  We have all been known to scream the expletive after going unprepared into a test, getting a flat tire, or doing something embarrassing.  This is a website devoted to telling these embarrassing stories, that cleverly end with the sign off FML (ok, it’s short for F**k My Life).  These anecdotes can be quite tame, like this one:

“Today, I mailed out all my Christmas cards.  As I was relaxing and being impressed with myself for being so organized this year, I saw the stack of Christmas cards on the coffee table.  Everyone will be receiving an empty envelope for Christmas this year.  FML”

But some can be outlandish, like this one:

“Today, I stopped by the gun store to pick up a new concealed weapon for protection.  As I was leaving the store, a man came up behind me, hit me with a crowbar, and stole my gun.  FML”

These stories seem harmless, and yes I did get a chuckle or two out of them, but who else is reading them?  Mr. NRA had 89 comments, 18812 people clicked “I agree, your life sucks” and 3443 people clicked “You totally deserved it.”  Who are these people commenting on a 38 word story?  Mr. NRA, whose real user name is LAMed, gave thousands of people free reign over his life.  Do we really need random commentators on our lives telling us how much our life sucks?  I thought that was why we had family and friends!

TextsFromLastNight.com

Oh TextsFromLastNight.com.  It is bookmarked on every college students’ laptop.  You know that feeling you get after a rough night.  You dread opening your phone and checking your text messages.  The inbox is scary, but the outbox is even scarier.  What embarrassing text message did you send last night and what was the response?  The conversations that you might call mistakes are celebrated on this one trick pony website.  The site’s sole purpose is for posting funny, humiliating, crude, or ridiculous texts that you sent the night before, and then they are listed by area code.  These texts are anonymous, thankfully, because the submissions are not the types that make your parents proud.  A few gems on the site are:

(607): flashcards smell like vodka and my textbook is in the toilet.  ready for the final.
(706): I’m on page 4.
(678): I’m on beer infinity

and

(571): I feel like I bought a front row ticket to watch her screw up her life

These three wonderful examples are literally taken from the first page on the site, and they were some of the only PG-13 examples I found.  One major question about the site is “Are these texts real?”  Some are outlandish definitely, but many submissions make you stop and say, “Who would actually text that?”  Are some of the submissions hysterical?  Most definitely.  Are they true?  There is no way of verifying, but I have a sneaking suspicion that a few people’s noses grow a little bit once they click submit.

These sites shouldn’t be taken too seriously.  Most college students visit these sites when they are in full procrastination mode.  They are staples of finals and a way to get through boredom.  It’s up to you to decide whether these websites are just another step in Generation Y’s addiction to the Internet or if they are just simple harmless fun.
 

College Magazine Staff

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