Think of the worst insult you could fling at someone. Go ahead. The worst possible thing you could say to another person. What would it be?
Go to hell.
How bad could you get? You’d want to cut deep, right? Really give it to ’em. Make it sting.
Kids have figured out how to go low, and you need to know what they’re saying. Listen up.
“I hate my life.” Kids say this completely off the cuff when something doesn’t go just right. Bowling ball goes in the gutter…uugghh, I hate my life. Can’t get a challenging dance step and flub the practice run….gah, whatever, I hate my life. Make a C on a test, and it brings down their overall class grade…crap, I hate my life.
Y’all, that’s not a phrase to throw about casually when we are mildly inconvenienced or disappointed about something benign. It’s a dangerous phrase to repeat. Repeated phrases can either stick (God forbid!) and be taken to heart or stick (God forbid!) and become a seemingly meaningless addition to our everyday vernacular. Neither are ok, yet kids will say it and giggle.
“FML” This little acronym ups the ante. It means “F*** my life!”. It’s bantered about like it’s no big deal. There are even cute, little FML graphics on Snapchat you can add to the photo of your Starbucks drink in a puddle on the floor to whimsically express how your life is worthless since you carelessly dropped it. The old “Dammit!” has been replaced by FML.
I think it’s scary. And wrong. How did this become a “cute” way to express our displeasure with nonsensical things?
“Just kill yourself.” Yes, Ma’am. This is the ultimate insult… and kids say it every day. They say it to the annoying kid. They hurl it at the boyfriend in a fight. This one’s not so offhandedly tossed about. It rolls off the tongue with fire meant to burn deep. And I think it does.
Can you imagine someone who’s mad at you telling you to just go kill yourself?
It’s the ultimate wrong. It’s evil. And every, single kid I have asked has told me it’s a commonplace insult from the mouths of those who seek to destroy. Who are these kids?
Nothing about any of this is funny. It is poison to young, fragile minds. It puts harmful ideas into kids’ heads. It erodes self-worth. It diminishes the value of human life. It gives way to suicidal ideation. It permanently alters mental health.
We need to freaking fix it. We must not stand for it from our own kids. Seriously, if one of my kids says anything like this about themselves or to another person, you will see the atomic mushroom cloud over the horizon billowing up from our house, because I will have dropped a bomb.
We need to freaking squelch it. We must not stand for it from other kids. I’m here to tell y’all…if I hear this from a kid, I’m going to be real loud and real damn clear about how I feel no matter where I’m standing. You best do the same. If we stand by and let this be, it’s a good as condoning it.
Life. It’s precious. It is meaningful. It matters. The ultimate insults are words that devalue it, trivialize it, and potentially end it. Some things just shouldn’t be said.