Time for a confession.
I hate April Fools’ Day.
I didn’t hate it nearly as much when I lived in the UK and it was limited by tradition to morning. Oh, and also there wasn’t really an internet.
I hate April Fools’ Day. Most of the pranks aren’t funny. Many of them are outright harmful. People post screamers (which can set off panic attacks), try to trick photosensitive epileptics and migraineurs into watching videos with strobe lights in them. People fake their death, fake somebody else’s death, fake suicide, fake breakups.
It’s become completely mean.
And This Year Will be Worse
We all know it will be. April 1 will be a festival of fake deaths from COVID, fake cures for COVID, and fake news in general.
Look, some April Fools’ pranks are funny. Google in particular always finds something hilarious to do.
Not this year. This year they’ve canceled April Fools’ Day.
Maybe some stuff will still be funny. I’d be fine with the occasional rickroll, or the old chestnut about digitizing Big Ben that comes up every few years.
Yes, we could all use a laugh. But what April Fools’ Day has turned into in the internet day is the wrong kind of laugh at the best of times. This is not the best of times.
Maybe We Should Do Something Else Instead?
I’m suggesting that we replace April Fools’ Day with World Cheerup Day. We all need it.
Instead of playing pranks and posting fake news, consider sharing the cutest animal videos you can find on the internet. Recommend a good comedy. Find something hilarious on Youtube.
Let’s have a good laugh; but let’s not have it be at anyone else’s expense (unless they’re a clown) this year.
Because typical April Fools’ jokes are going to be tone deaf, and we need to stop.