I’ve always been vocal about my disapproval of jokes, interestingly for an (almost) April Fool’s baby. Quick to roll my eyes and call out bad humor when I hear it. Probably why I’m often labeled as pikon. A no-nonsense hot-head who can’t take a joke. A spoilsport, a wet blanket or whatever.
While a good tasteful quip is appreciated, you might want to hold off on your April Fool’s pranks this year. They’re just for harmless light-hearted fun, you may argue. But if it’s the same old tired gigs like a fake positive pregnancy test or the “I’m coming out!” skit, please go back to the drawing board.
Okay, look. We get it. The potential clout is tempting.
But we have to understand that we’re dealing with completely new circumstances right now. The majority of us are dependent on the internet for information, but not everyone can differentiate verified from fabricated stories.
It’s easy to fall prey to falsity online, which is often coupled with shock value to rake in all those unsuspecting likes and views. It’s especially crucial now to be more responsible with what we post, click and share. Fake news making rounds lately, no matter how ridiculous, have been considered as facts until officially debunked. There’s a good chance that you came across videos of people peddling potential “cures” for COVID-19: garlic, banana or salt water. Hint: None of them actually work.
Lest you want to be branded as tone-deaf, to plan a seemingly good-natured joke at this time could be more of an insult than a source of laughs. Even corporations like Google had their moment of self-awareness and canceled April Fool’s marketing campaigns this year.
There are better ways to bring joy and make people smile amid the pandemic. Maybe save the shenanigans for another time and put all that energy into supporting causes instead. There are a lot of donation drives accepting contributions to support frontliners and marginalized groups.
Think about it: the smiles you’d bring to their faces would be worth more than the risk of an elaborate prank gone wrong.
Art by Zaila Mae Urmeneta