On Pranks, Trust, & A Culture Where It’s “Funny” To Hurt People

Prank videos float around the internet the same way germs bounce around elementary school classrooms. You can ignore them most of the time, but you can never really avoid them.

I loathe pranks.

There are pranks people call harmless. Pranks where no one is physically hurt. The ones where you can “laugh” about them afterward.

There are videos where people convince younger boys to do something that inevitably winds up with a nutshot. There are the pranks that have a potential to be psychologically damaging. The ones that could, conceivably, kill someone if copied by someone who chooses to play out the same prank in an unsuitable location. 

People who get upset about pranks are deemed “overly sensitive.” When others speak up about pranks they’re called overly PC. We’re told that we need to get over it. That it’s all in the name of fun….

When I was six, an older cousin decided it would be hilarious to get me to cover my eyes for a “surprise” and then pants me. It’s twenty-five years later and it still bugs me. It was “harmless” but it has colored every interaction I’ve had with them since. I do not like being around them. I don’t trust them… I’m relieved when they don't show up to family functions because I just never want to deal with them again. And it’s been quarter of a century.

I can honestly say that with a very few exceptions*, I would not keep a “friend” who thought hurting others was funny. It is an accepted form of assault, one that no one takes seriously unless they’re on the receiving end. And even then some seem to feel that as a victim of a prank they are well within their rights to do it to someone else.

Pranks and prank videos make me sick because they promote this. 

When did we become a society that decided hurting others was funny? Why has this continued to be a thing?

*Those exceptions would be dependent upon if I felt said friend was likely to understand why they were wrong and change their ways.


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