To say the pessimistic propensities of this generation are discouraging is an understatement. The looming 2012 apocalypse does not seem so improbable with the recent disastrous earthquakes in Chile and Haiti, and the United States’ dismal economy is shattering visions of the “American dream.”
With the world teetering on its axis, how are teenagers and young adults reacting?
They are bombarding websites such as fmylife.com with petty complaints about broken fingernails and missed buses.
And of course, there is the infamous TFLN.com (Texts From Last Night), a collection of text messages from young adults around the world who send outlandish texts about their drunken and/or drugged shenanigans.
Thankfully, there are some promising, shiny needles in the haystack of trashy websites. Lmylife.com (Like My Life) is a weak attempt at counteracting the FML phase, but it is a start.
Mylifeisaverage.com is sure to give almost any reader a chuckle at the little things in life.
But the optimistic, tear-jerking Givesmehope.com outshines all the rest with motivating anecdotes of rising phoenixes and unexpected benevolence.
Gives Me Hope (GMH) was created last year by Notre Dame graduates Gaby Montero and Emerson Spartz.
Montero, originally from Ecuador, and Spartz, creator of the most-visited Harry Potter website in the world (MuggleNet.com), got engaged at a Chicago Bulls game last April and started GMH one month later.
They were tired of the pessimism of the mass media and wanted a website, as their slogan suggests, that was “like FML, but for optimists.”
They compare it to the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” franchise, but tweaked for this computer savvy generation. Now, hundreds of people send in their stories of hope every day.
GMH is still just an infant compared to other inspirational websites such as PostSecret.com, which has been around for over five years now, but it is already a gem of optimism and encouragement for thousands of people.
Whether or not all of the stories are true is an unanswerable question, but Montero and Spartz seem to have no doubts.
They have already created the Gives Me Hope Network, a collection of sister sites such as Lovegivesmehope.com and Savewatts.com, a Google search engine with a black screen to save energy.
Even so, the raw emotion and human connectedness displayed on GMH will hopefully guarantee its spot in the World Wide Web for quite some time.
Because, as Montero and Spartz say on their website, “with all of the hurt and suffering in the world, who couldn’t use a few more reasons to hope each day?”
Carol Fritz is a student at West Chester University. She can be reached at CF716002@wcupa.edu.