Did you get pranked today? Did you turn on the television news to be greeted with a ridiculous story, or did you open a newspaper to find one of the joke stories? I find April Fool’s Day really frustrating. Before you say it, I can confirm that I do have a sense of humour and like a good laugh. The reason April 1 is a day I don’t look forward to is because every business seems to think they have to take part.
The social media feeds of most organisations, and many individuals, were filled with nonsense. However, it is only supposed to last until lunchtime but many of these posts were still circulating into the evening. And with life becoming ever more bizarre it is increasingly difficult to work out what is real and what is fake.
Over the past six years when I have been using social media on a regular basis I have come to learn that I don’t have a sense of humour. At least, I don’t have one that translates well in 140 characters. Humour on social media is one of the most problematic things and has been the reason that many brands and organisations have had to apologise. For every joke that you think is funny there are sure to be many hundreds or possibly thousands more who don’t.
If people are not upset by it then you can guarantee that some of the media will find it an outrage. There are so many stories of where things have not quite worked. Most of them have featured in national media who are shocked and horrified by it. They can manage to be shocked even when most people aren’t.
Social media relies on the interaction and the social to really make it live. Humour is an essential part of daily life and how we connect, so we need to find a way that it can work online. There is nothing worse than telling people they can’t have a joke but there are many things to be aware of including what is happening around them, local history and issues and inappropriateness.
I am quite glad to see the back of today’s enforced humour but trust me I can enjoy a good laugh all year round.