Prank culture

Pranks are harmless activities, which are done largely for fun. We can find many prank videos on social media these days, while some television channels have dedicated shows on pranks pulled on random people. Some Nepali prank videos too are gradually making it to social media these days. Some of them have a huge viewership as well. It is as a matter of fact a common trend to pull a crazy prank on some random person, take video and share it on social media.

Recently while surfing YouTube, I encountered one of the prank videos which shows a “crazy man” chasing passers-by with an axe in his hand. But unfortunately one of the subjects happened to be a heart patient and he was seriously affected by the trick. This made me think about pranks a bit seriously. Though there is nothing wrong with playing a prank, one must make sure that this should be done only for a hearty laughter, not to harass anyone. And then the person on whom the prank is pulled must be taken into confidence before it is uploaded on social media sites. It should not offend him or her.

There are many cases where a prank has affected people psychologically, with the person on whom a trick has been played facing traumatic consequences. Then there are prank videos which show women in bad light. It is unfortunate that pranksters at times end of offending people.

In one of the incidents I recently encountered, a girl was being sexually harassed by two boys in public. This was absolutely uncalled for. No one took any initiative to intervene as it was assumed that the boys were pulling a prank. But the way the activities were going on could in no way pass as a prank.

Emerging popularity of prank videos sometime gives ground for pranksters to walk out free. A prank should not mean the license to harass or bully anyone. There have been many cases in which pranks have gone badly wrong, offending people to the extent we cannot even imagine.

Things which were considered quite abnormal are being considered normal and simple acts for such tricks and stunts are played out so often. If it is not exaggeration, pranks pulled on people without giving a serious thought about the consequences can often lead to social crimes. Harming them psychologically is as good as an offence. A good laugh is always beneficial for our health, but it does not mean people should play offensive pranks on some random people.