By Thomas Sellers Jr.
This day is no longer special.
When I was a child you planned a good April’s Fool joke. It had to be funny, believable and done with an element of class. You wanted to get a mixture of fear, shock, surprise and ultimately make the “victim” laugh as well.
Now with social media and phones that record everything, most of are on a mission to go viral, get clicks and garner a reputation as “funny.” Daily there are jokes, memes, videos and elaborate pranks on display via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more.
With this influx of stupidity, April 1 is no longer special. Our guard is on Level 5 out of 5 on potential pranks to embarrass us. Back in the day, a good April’s Fool joke was performed for family, friends, colleagues or classmates.
In 2021 the goal is to make you a legendary fool to the masses. The world can laugh at you with one click or touch of a button. But I am here to tell you this week the biggest fools of today fit into these 10 categories below. Here is my ranking of the Biggest April Fools of 2021.
10. Filter Flunky
It’s bad enough every picture must have a certain tilt of the head or weird leg pose for young ladies. They arch their foot and spike a toe into the ground to ancient the leg. If those things don’t work, several girls and boys will access their variety of filters to touch up pictures.
Now we can add motion filters to spice up photos and images. I must remind people take a few normal pictures and even get another person to snap the photo. Too many times when people pass away, it is a selfie and worse it has improper filters on it.
None of us are perfect so it’s OK to display some of those imperfections from time to time.
9. Attack on manhood
Toxic masculinity, mansplaining and manspreading are just a few of the new terms introduced to the U.S. American lexicon this past decade. As a man, I find these new words problematic.
Like most men I don’t try to take up unnecessary space in public when sitting. And it a woman gives her purse or bag a chair, I don’t ask her to remove it. I just stand — being a gentleman.
I’m know to interrupt… woman or man if I have a point to get across. Or to be honest, if they’re saying something stupid, I will explain things to them.
As for toxic masculinity, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. Maybe toxic femininity is floating in our universe as well. There are stupid men everywhere, but I was never taught to rape, hurt or discourage women. The men in my life have shown me how to protect, love and valuable women. But if women keep telling men those things are not necessary, masculinity will be tainted.
8. Wannabe influencers
In recent months I’ve heard a new job description enter the conversation of several U.S. Americans. “I am an influencer.” What the heck is an influencer?
An influencer is someone who has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his or her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with his or her audience. Most influencers reach their audience via social media.
I guess an old-school influencer was a newspaper columnist, consumer reporter on TV and celebrities. Now every-day Josephs and Susans are influencers. They tell people what movies to watch, clothes to buy, music to listen and how to think.
Most influencers don’t qualify to run the lives of farm animals. But as long as they have a voice, platform and time, they will continue to reach those who are easily influenced.
7. Instant Pot buyers
For those who purchased this in 2020 and early 2021, do you realize what is taking up too much space on your kitchen counter?
I have to give the “inventors” of the Instant Pot credit. They got paid off this thing. The Instant Pot is a pressure cooker, not some one-of-a- kind, revolutionary new product.
6. Mask Tug of War
There a fools on both sides of the rope in this situation. COVID-19 is still an issue people. I’ve noticed more and more gatherings with less masks being worn. Let’s still keep our guards up to make sure we’re building up herd immunity.
On the other hand, I can’t stand the mask police. You don’t have to run to managers, pull out your phone to public shame someone or start an argument.
What happen to human kindness and respect? Hopefully a mask wearer could go up to a non-wearer and request that person to put one on until they are done doing business.
Mask shouldn’t be a political, religious, racial or social statement. They should be nearby just in case they are needed. Until it is official declared the pandemic is over, please keep a mask handy.
5. Indecent Challenges
I’ve touched on this top a couple of times. Since 2010, we’ve endured many stupid social media challenges like the cinnamon challenge, the potentially fatal fainting challenge, stomach-pumping inducing Tide Pod challenge and the legendary Momo challenge.
We even managed to take well-meaning challenges and make them foolish like the ALS Ice Bucket challenge of 2014.
Thanks to more social media apps, dumber challenges are still popping up. The George Floyd challenge mocked a tragic situation and the Chinese New Year challenge screams “LOOK AT ME.”
4. Tik Tok
That leads into my No. 4 foolish trend going on today, the social media app Tik Tok. So summarized the negative impact Tik Tok can have on the world today, let’s look at the Autism challenge.
Bringing awareness to autism should be a good thing. But in the new world we live in, you have to stand out, be funny and we’ll settle for infamous. Infamy still means attention. The hashtag #autismchallenge started off gaining awareness to the condition and those who’ve been diagnosed with the disorder. In short time, it devolved into users of Tik Tok uploading videos mocking those with autism and disabilities. Unfortunately this became a trend of many well-meaning events on the app.
3. Internet Comedians
One of the worst trends born from social media is the internet comedian. No longer does a person have to hit the road and do standup. Crafting jokes and testing them to an audience in person is not necessary.
The fear of bombing and eating humble pie to become a tested comedian is almost gone. Just upload your “comedy” on your page and you’ll find somebody out there that thinks it is funny. And you will continue to be encouraged to do stupid stuff and say unfunny things.
Just because it’s vulgar, outlandish or anti-PC doesn’t mean it is funny.
2. Having an opinion on everything
I’m blessed to have a job that allows me a platform to share my opinions. After research and talking to people with opposing viewpoints, I share my thoughts with the masses.
I do have a responsibility to present the other side and be accountable for my columns. And when I am doing a news story, my personal beliefs should not creep into the article at all.
With that training, education and pledge, I wish I can give a few pointers to all those who pull out there phone or jump to the keyboard to give their 2-cents.
Try to go through a vetting process before clicking spend or post. Take a moment for objectivity before composing your message. And ask yourself this question from time to time, “Does my opinion really matter on this topic?”
With cancel culture getting people fired for past tweets and decade-old post, those words can come back to haunt you. Most of the time it’s best to stay on the sideline and watch all the fools attack each other.
1. Posting Your Life Like a TV Show
Speaking of watching, we can look at the fools because they will take out their phones to record the battles.
Lately I’ve seen people film arguments with their significant others, punishing their children, illegal activities and much more foolishness. What makes a person say, I’m going to record this for my audience. Your life is not a reality TV show and the only way we’ll watch in droves is if you’re doing something bad or tragedy happens.
But this trend of posing everything includes some positivity. You don’t have to alert the masses about every romantic gesture from your lover, each award won or how awesome you are. There are tons of jealous fools out there who will plan your demise.
I hope nobody meets there demise on April’s Fool 2021. Be careful out there today and maybe flip the tradition and make this day uneventful with no pranks and jokes. Let’s try not to go viral today and we’ll pick back up the foolishness on April 2.
THOMAS SELLERS JR. is the editor of The Millington Star and both the sports editor and a weekly personal columnist for West 10 Media/Magic Valley Publishing. Contact him by phone at (901) 433-9138, by fax to (901) 529-7687 and by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.