Monday, March 31, 2014

April Fools Day- a PSA (for your own good)

I posted something to this effect on Facebook and Twitter today, but I felt a topic this serious requires a little more fleshing out. 

As most of you know, tomorrow is April Fools Day. This is a holiday of sorts in America celebrated every April first that involves playing pranks on your friends under the guise of "April Fools!". Of all people, I love a good joke, and a well-meaning, tasteful prank is one thing. However, in years past (especially now that social media is so popular), I've witness the foolishness get a little out of hand.

In case you're a complete troglodyte and couldn't figure out most of these rules for yourself, please take note of the following acceptable and unacceptable expressions of April Fools Day on social media. 

  • Pretend to be pregnant. Seriously. If you have friends who are actually trying to get pregnant, you're going to look like an insensitive tool. 
  • Fake a serious/ terminal illness. Take the amount of insensitivity of the above post and multiply it by forty-four. Then hit yourself in the face with a post.
  • Tell everyone you got laid off. Seriously, this affects more people than you can even realize. It's not funny.
  • Post that you're getting a divorce/ breaking up with your S/O. If this is ACTUALLY happening, it may behoove you to wait until April 2nd to announce it to the world. Or, y'know, just keep that private. Either/or. 
  • Claim that a celebrity/ politician/ public figure has died. This is how stupid internet rumors start. Only you can stop Twitter forest fires. 
  • Destroy anything. For crying out load, don't go breaking things and then cry "But it was just a prank!" No, it wasn't. It wasn't funny, and it wasn't well thought out or clever. It was vandalism, and now you're going to jail. And you deserve it. 
  • Post any story that someone's conspiracy-theorist aunt could interpret as actual news and spread around the internet as gospel truth. Examples of such unacceptable nonsense are:
    • School cafeteria workers caught sneaking meth into children's lunches so they pay more attention in health class! Has the school system gone TOO FAR!?!
    • Secret photos of the NSA spying on the people spying on the NSA! See the pictures THEY don't want you to see!
  • Photoshop a picture of your cat driving your car.
  • Post pictures of cats, in general. The internet LOVES cats!
  • Link a story from The Onion. Seriously, if someone can't tell the stories on the Onion are satire, there's not much I can do for them. 
  • Tell someone you played a joke on them if you see them falling for it. Seriously. After it's obvious you've fooled them, you've achieved your goal. End it. Even if you ignore all the rules above (but seriously though, don't), follow this one rule. No need to let that mess go on all day, especially if it might cause your fooled party to take a rash action. Example:
    • You: "Aunt Myrtle, I was kidnapped! Save me! LOL"
    • Aunt Mrytle: *Calls the cops, the FBI, the CIA, CNN and Al-Jazeera.*
    • You: "April Fools! LOL!"
    • Al-Jazeera: "We're a serious news outlet, WTF is this?"
  • I really can't emphasize this enough: CATS.

The long of the short of it is this: If your joke might hurt someone, please think twice about playing it. Do have some fun on April Fools Day, just don't do something you'll end up regretting. Now, as for me, I plan to....

..wait, WAIT! Fez, wait! No! Fez, what are you doing!?!

Fez, you can't drive! You can't even see over the steering wheel! 

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