Now, I realise that this is going to make me sounds like a pretentious, snobby, stuck-up bitch. Frankly, I don’t care. I’ve been called those names more times than I care to count. Once extremely publicly.
But wow. I hate April Fools’ Day. The jokes are pretty much entirely transparent, and the originality is diluted tenfold when posting in the social media space. I only saw two half-way decent attempts today. Most people post a variation of the “OMG! I’m pregnant!”/”Sarah is now listed as In a Relationship”/”Bob is no longer listed as Engaged” blah blah blah. It’s almost always lame. So I ignore everything that goes on Facebook the whole of 1 April.
But what ticks me off more than unoriginal crap on Twitter is April Fools’ attempts in the mass media. I work in the media and I steadfastly refuse to get involved in the fuckery. Why? A number of reasons.
1) As the media – and yes, maybe I’m still super-idealistic, but you know what, I don’t care – we have a responsibility to make sure that what we are is accurate and trustworthy. Playing a “prank” does not fall into that mandate. People are stupid, they largely believe what you tell them.
2) It dilutes the credibility of the rest of your content. That’s a non-brainer, really.
3) The world is getting smaller. Content is shared more easily. Your April Fools’ prank can go “viral” – and that’s not a good thing. Especially if it’s picked up by another media outlet (who yes, should be checking everything, but sometimes that’s not possible). Once that’s happened, are you one hundred percent sure your funny (for now) story is going to be revealed as a prank? Once the content’s out there, you’ve got no control over where it goes. And what if you’re Google?
4) It makes my life – as a wannabe-credible-producer-of-news-yes-even-celebrity-news-shuddup-I’ll-change-the-world-one-day – a living bloody hell. Why? Because I spend all day researching everything in case some wise-ass has decided to slip an April Fools’ Day joke in somewhere. Thankfully I’m pretty good at spotting them a mile away.
All of this hatred, of course, could stem from an April Fools’ Day joke some idiot kids played on me when I was younger. They tried to tell me I was adopted – which would have worked better if my mum hadn’t told me my birth story pretty much from the time I was five.
*I realise this is very rant-y. I’m tired and grumpy and pretty much everything is putting me in a bad mood this weekend.