Google does it every year.
Celebrities inevitably join the fray.
The top websites often jump in.
Even international news outlets give it a go from the time to time.
There is something about the allure of April Fool’s Day that the wanna-be pranksters just can’t resist.
Yet, each year, I’m shocked to see how many people continue to be taken in by these April 1st pranks. It can’t come as a real surprise. Though Target doesn’t stock their shelves with April Fool’s Day decorations (which incidentally they’d start putting out in December if they did) April Fool’s Day doesn’t sneak up anyone. It’s not like Easter where every year it feels like there is a three to five week window where it can fall. Or even Thanksgiving where you inevitably have the “well I know it’s on a Thursday” conversation. April Fool’s Day is April 1st. There’s not a kid in America that gets through lower Elementary without connecting those dots. Yet, as adults, how many people continue to take the bait?
It’s not like it’s new either. Like I’m not sure when Earth Day is. And do we even still have Arbor Day? “Holidays” in North America seem to come and go. April Fool’s Day, however, goes back centuries. It even pre-dates important holidays like Thanksgiving and Super Bowl Sunday. Plus, it’s worldwide. It’s not like that “holiday” you and your college buddies have where once a year you sneak into Jimmy’s house and pee in his shoes. I’m not trying to belittle your tradition, but I’m fairly certain they don’t celebrate that one in Italy or France. April Fool’s Day is global. The world knows it’s coming…yet, every year, you buy it.
Why in this internet age of skeptics, cynicism and conspiracy theories do so many people still get duped on a day that we all know is coming?
Are we too trusting?
Are we gullible?
Are we stupid?
Or, deep down… or maybe even not so deep… do we want to be fooled?
In an age where we have everything at our fingertips and the world on-demand, perhaps the idea of being “taken for a ride” is appealing. In a world where we have all the answers as close as our phone or an open browser, maybe how we’re going to be tricked on April 1st is the only legitimate mystery left in the day.
While I can over-analyze it till Grandparent’s Day, the truth is… it’s just fun. Life is so much easier today then it was centuries ago when they basically had to schedule a day to let down their guard and laugh. Maybe the greatest lesson we can learn from April Fool’s Day is simply to stop waiting for April Fool’s Day to have a little fun…. to lighten up…. to invite a little mystery into our lives.
Smile, Fool. Life is good.