The One April Fools’ Joke You Should Never Do, Because It’s Actually Hurtful

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While I love a good prank, I strongly believe that no joke is so funny that it’s worth causing pain to any person or group. (Sexual assault jokes? Yeah, hard pass.) And in the age of social media, it’s important to remember that even a joking status update or quirky tweet can reach a surprising number of people. To me, this means that as human beings we have an increased obligation to think through our online utterances and the impact they might have on others. Which means the one April Fools’ joke you should never do is something to keep in mind because it’s thoughtlessly cruel, and affects millions.

If you’ve ever considered or actually gone through with a fake pregnancy announcement, my guess is that you didn’t realize that 7.4 million people, or one in eight couples, have struggled with infertility, according to RESOLVE. Or maybe you didn’t understand the overwhelming grief that infertility engenders for those who face it. Before you play that April Fools’ Day prank, you should know that the hurt is deep, and already exacerbated by social media where pregnancy announcements are common reminders of loss for many.

The way I see it, pregnancy fake-outs pop up on Facebook only because pranksters take their ability to get pregnant (should they want to) for granted. Sadly, not everyone in a social media circle is likely to have the same luxury — and it’s not just people struggling with primary infertility who might take offense. Couples who already have a child and can’t have another experience severe distress over secondary infertility, and cancer survivors often…

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