Opinion: April Fools' Day can get out of hand

As April Fools' Day comes and goes, it’s time to reflect on the pranks we’ve pulled – both this year and before. But sometimes people can take pranks too far and mess with people’s mental state. 

Some of the most notable of these messed-up pranks include telling your significant other you’re pregnant, giving people food they're allergic to, telling family you got engaged, faking a serious illness, telling your partner you’re cheating on them and purposely trying to get people fired.

When next April Fools' Day rolls around, don’t be that person who ruins the day for someone else by breaking their trust, playing with their emotions or actively trying to hurt them. Not only did you deliberately hurt someone else, but you also don’t know how they’ll react to the prank. 

Telling a partner that you’re cheating might seem funny at the time until they break up with you or confess they’ve been cheating on you as well. 

Giving people food they’re allergic to could hospitalize or kill someone. 

Telling your family you got engaged could warrant some rude comments about your partner or getting yelled at by some unhappy parents. 

Faking a serious illness is insensitive to those who can’t stop pretending and be OK. 

Trying to get people fired may actually succeed, which makes you directly responsible for financial ruin.

If you pulled any of these pranks this April Fools' Day, take the time to consider how your pranks could have negative impacts on your relationships with others or how others will view you in the future. 

In planning for next year’s pranks, a good guide for an appropriate prank is “confuse, don’t abuse." The goal of any prank should be to confuse the other person, not harm them.

Fill your suite mate's room from floor to ceiling with balloons or plastic balls. Tape an air horn to a doorstop. Change out family photos for ones with dinosaurs, pets or Jesus digitally inserted into them. Freeze a gallon of milk so when a roommate or partner goes to make cereal, nothing comes out. Send someone a package of just foam peanuts or a letter full of glitter if you’re feeling mean. 

There are way too many good pranks that don’t involve hurting other people. Take the next year to come up with good ideas and start fresh.

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