pranks

What to ask someone with adrenal insufficiency when you have bad news:

youneedacat:

1.  Are you sitting down?

2.  Do you have your steroids on hand?

Seriously.  Maybe not even in that order.

I haven’t had any major illnesses since I’ve been diagnosed, so I have no comparison.  But I do know that, so far, what’s been most detrimental to my health since I’ve known I had adrenal insufficiency, has been that initial burst of fight-or-flight adrenaline when I encounter very bad news or an extremely stressful situation (including one where vigilance is necessary and adaptive).  Every time I’ve had that burst, it’s been accompanied by symptoms.  In fact, many times the symptoms were the first sign I was under extra stress.

The symptoms are actually much more obvious now.  Because now that I’m on dexamethasone, I have much fewer actual everyday symptoms of adrenal insufficiency.  It’s really doing wonders for me.  So when I do have more symptoms, they show up more readily against that background.  Like before, it was relatively routine for me to get so tired that breathing became difficult.  Now, it’s a sign something’s going very wrong.  

I expected my frequent medical problems to be the main thing that would set off symptoms.  Maybe they will be, once I start having more of them.  But so far, the biggest thing has been emotional stress.  My friend says that emotional stress is usually the reasons for big bursts of cortisol to be exhausted by the body anyway.  I don’t know enough to know if she’s right or wrong.  But from experience, it’s certainly been the fastest thing to cause me serious symptoms since starting steroids.  Like I can be fine one minute, find out my mom just spent two days in the ICU and that a code blue was called at one point, and suddenly I’m fighting to breathe.  And not in a panicked-and-out-of-breath way, but in an I’m-too-exhausted-to-make-my-lungs-work way.  And when I had to go over and watch my friend to make sure she didn’t have another stroke, I started shaking all over even though I wasn’t actually freaking out that much, and that was followed by other symptoms that made me realize this was physical.  In both situations all the symptoms went away completely within a couple hours of taking steroids.  (Which would not be the case for anxiety-related symptoms, given that historically I’ve found steroids make my anxiety worse.)

So yeah.  If you have something startling or horrible to tell me, ask me about my steroids first.

Oh yeah and this is reason #23481 that running around startling people for fun is a crappy thing to do.

On triggers

content warning: This is my response to someone who is offended by the idea that anyone could possibly be triggered by rickrolling

ohfuckimadeablog:

realsocialskills:

kind of curious as of to why you’re not sure rickrolling is ok in any case, if you don’t mind talking about it without being sure about it
realsocialskills said:
You never know what’s triggering to other people.
Rickrolling…

ohfuckimadeablog said:

Holy fucking shit people

Poe’s Law in action

Rickrolling is a trigger

realsocialskills said:

That post wasn’t really specifically about rickrolling. There’s nothing specifically awful about that song. 

The thing is, there doesn’t need to be something specifically awful about something for it to be triggering. Triggers aren’t reasonable, and they’re not always things like rape or violence.

Sometimes, a trigger is something like: a harmless rock song you used to listen to after abuse to calm yourself down. Sometimes hearing that song can take you back to that state of panic and fear. Not because there’s anything at all wrong with the song, just because you have that association. That’s a common kind of trigger.

For most people, rickrolling is harmless. But for people who are triggered by that particular song, being tricked, unexpected music, unexpected human voices, or sounds coming out of their computer they didn’t play on purpose, rickrolling is not harmless.

Rickrolling friends is one thing. That’s often totally fine, although it depends on the friend. But if you put a public rickroll bait on the internet where it’s likely to be seen by a lot of people, you run the risk of tricking someone into clicking it who really, really shouldn’t click it.

Depending on which corner of the internet you’re posting on, the risk might not be very high, since it’s not a particularly common trigger. But the value of rickrolling isn’t very high either. I don’t think much is lost by avoiding it.

Basically, I don’t think it’s right to trick people for fun unless you can be reasonably sure that they will also think it’s fun. And one reason it’s better to err on the side of not tricking people is that for some people, there’s more at stake than avoiding a brief moment of annoyance.

cayenaleva:

realsocialskills:

waterloggedtomorrow:

realsocialskills:

Hello, I am usually triggered by unexpected music & the rickroll song in particular is very bad for me. Thank you for pointing out that rickrolling is a harmful prank — I’ve been considering whether I’ll have to stay off tumblr around April Fool’s because so many people are pushing it as harmless, fun, and not something that needs to be tagged.

waterloggedtomorrow said:

Also, I don’t know that this person will see this, but the thing about rickrolls is that they’re not going to be on your dash, right? They’re going to be links you’ll have to click on. And what we have now that we didn’t really in 2007 is the thing at the bottom of your browser that pops up to tell you where a link goes. And obviously you can’t tell whether or not the link is to that video in particular, but if it goes to a youtube video, don’t click it! Probably even if it’s not a rickroll, because youtube videos play automatically when you open the tab, and if you have an issue with unexpected music. I hope that helps maybe?

realsocialskills said:

That can help some people, but it doesn’t entirely solve the problem because:

  • There are a lot of different videos, and people who don’t want to watch songs still often do want to watch other things
  • Eg: videos demonstrating makeup, videos explaining stuff
  • People who want to avoid unexpected invasive music should still be able to watch that kind of video
  • Also, the thing about links is easily circumvented by using URL shorteners, and people who want to trick others into clicking something they don’t want to click are generally not above concealing the URL
  • And there are contexts, like Twitter, on which virtually *all* URLs are shortened

Basically, just, don’t trick people unless you know them and are reasonably sure that they would appreciate being tricked.

cayenaleva said:

This is by no means a substitute for not pranking people, but greasemonkey (an extension for Firefox and I believe Chrome that allows you to modify sites with custom scripts) has a script that disables autoplay on Youtube. People shouldn’t be linking to prank videos unless they know it’s safe, but this may still be useful for people who might accidentally click a link that leads to a video they weren’t expecting.

The script can be found at https://userscripts.org/scripts/show/66616

waterloggedtomorrow:

realsocialskills:

Hello, I am usually triggered by unexpected music & the rickroll song in particular is very bad for me. Thank you for pointing out that rickrolling is a harmful prank — I’ve been considering whether I’ll have to stay off tumblr around April Fool’s because so many people are pushing it as harmless, fun, and not something that needs to be tagged.

waterloggedtomorrow said:

Also, I don’t know that this person will see this, but the thing about rickrolls is that they’re not going to be on your dash, right? They’re going to be links you’ll have to click on. And what we have now that we didn’t really in 2007 is the thing at the bottom of your browser that pops up to tell you where a link goes. And obviously you can’t tell whether or not the link is to that video in particular, but if it goes to a youtube video, don’t click it! Probably even if it’s not a rickroll, because youtube videos play automatically when you open the tab, and if you have an issue with unexpected music. I hope that helps maybe?

realsocialskills said:

That can help some people, but it doesn’t entirely solve the problem because:

  • There are a lot of different videos, and people who don’t want to watch songs still often do want to watch other things
  • Eg: videos demonstrating makeup, videos explaining stuff
  • People who want to avoid unexpected invasive music should still be able to watch that kind of video
  • Also, the thing about links is easily circumvented by using URL shorteners, and people who want to trick others into clicking something they don’t want to click are generally not above concealing the URL
  • And there are contexts, like Twitter, on which virtually *all* URLs are shortened

Basically, just, don’t trick people unless you know them and are reasonably sure that they would appreciate being tricked.

deliciousdannydevito:

While we’re talking about what not to do on April Fools Day, let me remind everyone not to pull ‘unreality pranks’.

Don’t go up to a person and say ‘wake up’, ‘you’re dreaming’ (and especially don’t tag team it with two or three other people, saying the same thing). Don’t pretend not to know a person you know. Don’t fabricate events or non-existent people in order to pull a ‘you don’t remember? it just happened the other day!’

All of these things can trigger severe dissociative episodes, panic attacks, paranoia, psychotic episodes, and suicidal ideation.

If you haven’t experienced this (I assume most non mentally ill people haven’t), suffice to say it is the most frightening feeling in the world, and makes you want to be dead, like, right now. So don’t do it.

sarah-g:

realsocialskills:

kind of curious as of to why you’re not sure rickrolling is ok in any case, if you don’t mind talking about it without being sure about it
realsocialskills said:
You never know what’s triggering to other people.
Rickrolling involves tricking someone into watching a video they otherwise would not have watched. When you trick someone into seeing something they wouldn’t have seen on purpose, you’re taking away some of their defenses against exposing themselves to triggering material.
In addition, some people find being tricked inherently triggering or otherwise unsettling.
I think rickrolling is ok between friends who you know are ok with that kind of thing, but that it’s probably not such a good thing to do publicly.

sarah-g said:

“In addition, some people find being tricked inherently triggering or otherwise unsettling.”

YES. In regards to ALL April Fools’ Day pranks, no matter how “harmless” you think they may be, really think about the person you’re trying to trick. Will they really think it’s as funny as you? Do you know them well enough to even know if they’ll find it funny?

slashmarks:

realsocialskills:

whirling-ghost:

realsocialskills:

kind of curious as of to why you’re not sure rickrolling is ok in any case, if you don’t mind talking about it without being sure about it
realsocialskills said:
You never know what’s triggering to other people.
Rickrolling involves tricking someone into watching a video they otherwise would not have watched. When you trick someone into seeing something they wouldn’t have seen on purpose, you’re taking away some of their defenses against exposing themselves to triggering material.
In addition, some people find being tricked inherently triggering or otherwise unsettling.
I think rickrolling is ok between friends who you know are ok with that kind of thing, but that it’s probably not such a good thing to do publicly.

whirling-ghost: said:

I think rickrolling someone is a million times better than linking them to a screamer or somthing that’s much worse. I know it’s still not good but April Fool’s day is generally a day of trickery and rickrolling is quite low on the scale of tricks you can pull

realsocialskills said:

I agree that rickrolling is a million times better than linking to a screamer.

I just think that pranks should only be played on willing participants. 

slashmarks said:
Honestly, I’d rather be linked to a screamer than rickrolled. Screamers startle you, but human voices going on continually while you tab-hunt — awful. (This is why I keep my audio off). And “trickery” is not an obligation. No one is going around fining people who do not participate in April Fool’s Day. You are supposedly a self-aware person with control over your actions; if you can’t think of a trick that won’t hurt anyone, don’t. Pull. One.

Hello, I am usually triggered by unexpected music & the rickroll song in particular is very bad for me. Thank you for pointing out that rickrolling is a harmful prank – I’ve been considering whether I’ll have to stay off tumblr around April Fool’s because so many people are pushing it as harmless, fun, and not something that needs to be tagged.

whirling-ghost:

realsocialskills:

kind of curious as of to why you’re not sure rickrolling is ok in any case, if you don’t mind talking about it without being sure about it
realsocialskills said:
You never know what’s triggering to other people.
Rickrolling involves tricking someone into watching a video they otherwise would not have watched. When you trick someone into seeing something they wouldn’t have seen on purpose, you’re taking away some of their defenses against exposing themselves to triggering material.
In addition, some people find being tricked inherently triggering or otherwise unsettling.
I think rickrolling is ok between friends who you know are ok with that kind of thing, but that it’s probably not such a good thing to do publicly.

whirling-ghost: said:

I think rickrolling someone is a million times better than linking them to a screamer or somthing that’s much worse. I know it’s still not good but April Fool’s day is generally a day of trickery and rickrolling is quite low on the scale of tricks you can pull

realsocialskills said:

I agree that rickrolling is a million times better than linking to a screamer.

I just think that pranks should only be played on willing participants. 

toiletdemon:

sofuckingblue:

hey i keep seeing those april fools bad joke awareness posts going around and most of them suggest rickrolling as a good alternative to screamers or other potentially problematic pranks

RICKROLLING IS NOT A GOOD BLANKET SUGGESTION FOR AN ALTERNATIVE

if you are sending…

toiletdemon said:

Also in most browsers you can just hover over a link to display the URL, so unless you’ve set up a redirect (& if you’re going to go to all that trouble you may as well do something more complex than a rickroll) you’ve not really fooled anyone. 0/10.

realsocialskills said:

The problem with that is that a lot of people do not know that is possible or aren’t wary, and still end up seeing something they didn’t want to see. The fact that it is technically possible for a wary person to avoid being tricked doesn’t mean it’s ok to try to trick people who don’t want to be tricked.

occoris:

realsocialskills:

sofuckingblue:

hey i keep seeing those april fools bad joke awareness posts going around and most of them suggest rickrolling as a good alternative to screamers or other potentially problematic pranks

RICKROLLING IS NOT A GOOD BLANKET SUGGESTION FOR AN ALTERNATIVE

if you are sending someone a link and you inform them that it is actually audio/video, but trick them into thinking its something other than rick astley: fine, great. thats a good prank!

if you are claiming to link to a website that is text/static image-based and you send someone to a VIDEO with POTENTIALLY LOUD NOISES, THIS IS BAD AND A BAD PRANK TO DO.

MANY disabled and/or neurotypical people have heightened startle reflexes and/or may be triggered when they are confronted by sudden noise/video that they are not expecting. some people find it EXTREMELY difficult to process sound/movement they are not prepared for, and while it may not freak them out to the level a screamer would, it is still very unpleasant and unneccessary!

again: IF YOU ARE GOING TO RICKROLL SOMEONE, PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU DO SPECIFY THAT IT IS A LINK TO A VIDEO

your friends and followers will thank you!

realsocialskills said:

I’m not sure that I think rickrolling is ok in any case, but I definitely agree that it’s not ok to rickroll when someone is expecting text or a static image.

occoris said:

I think that, just in general, you should not be blanket-pranking a group of people (esp. when there are people you do not know potentially in that group) and also in general, you should only prank specific people, who you are GOOD FRIENDS WITH (or close family,) and whose boundaries you ALREADY KNOW.

realsocialskills said:

Yes, this.

There’s also a form of April Fools silliness that isn’t exactly a prank that I think it is ok to do even publicly or to groups. It’s more, just doing an unusually silly thing for general amusement.

Examples:

  • Google has an annual fake April Fools product
  • ThinkGeek has an annual April Fools fake catalogue
  • Many newspaper have obviously fake joke stories on April Fools
  • Sometimes school cafeterias put out food that looks like other food or that is dyed an unusual color (I think this is ok so long as you also have regular food available for people who don’t like this)

kind of curious as of to why you’re not sure rickrolling is ok in any case, if you don’t mind talking about it without being sure about it
realsocialskills said:
You never know what’s triggering to other people.
Rickrolling involves tricking someone into watching a video they otherwise would not have watched. When you trick someone into seeing something they wouldn’t have seen on purpose, you’re taking away some of their defenses against exposing themselves to triggering material.
In addition, some people find being tricked inherently triggering or otherwise unsettling.
I think rickrolling is ok between friends who you know are ok with that kind of thing, but that it’s probably not such a good thing to do publicly.

sofuckingblue:

hey i keep seeing those april fools bad joke awareness posts going around and most of them suggest rickrolling as a good alternative to screamers or other potentially problematic pranks

RICKROLLING IS NOT A GOOD BLANKET SUGGESTION FOR AN ALTERNATIVE

if you are sending someone a link and you inform them that it is actually audio/video, but trick them into thinking its something other than rick astley: fine, great. thats a good prank!

if you are claiming to link to a website that is text/static image-based and you send someone to a VIDEO with POTENTIALLY LOUD NOISES, THIS IS BAD AND A BAD PRANK TO DO.

MANY disabled and/or neurotypical people have heightened startle reflexes and/or may be triggered when they are confronted by sudden noise/video that they are not expecting. some people find it EXTREMELY difficult to process sound/movement they are not prepared for, and while it may not freak them out to the level a screamer would, it is still very unpleasant and unneccessary!

again: IF YOU ARE GOING TO RICKROLL SOMEONE, PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU DO SPECIFY THAT IT IS A LINK TO A VIDEO

your friends and followers will thank you!

realsocialskills said:

I’m not sure that I think rickrolling is ok in any case, but I definitely agree that it’s not ok to rickroll when someone is expecting text or a static image.

Pranks

Pranks can be funny, but a lot of them are bad.

There are basically two kinds of ok pranks:

  • Pranks that you reasonably expect the target to find funny
  • Pranks that make someone who has unreasonable amounts of power look ridiculous

If the first kind of prank goes bad:

  • Don’t tell the person they should learn to take a joke
  • Apologize
  • If there’s something you can fix, fix it
  • Don’t play that kind of prank on that person again

Some pranks that nearly always go bad:

  • Pranks played on individual people you have a lot of power over (eg: a child, an employee, a patient)
  • False promises (eg: convincing someone you’re going to let them borrow your car to go to a concert they really care about, then giving them your toy car and laughing at them when they’re ready to leave)
  • Breaking someone’s stuff
  • Invading someone’s space if they’re being stalked or have a history of being stalked or abused (eg: If someone is being stalked, planting a bunch of flamingos on their lawn is likely to be frightening in an unfunny way. Leaving flamingos inside their house is likely to be terrifying. )
  • Tricking someone into eating something they don’t want to eat (Tricking vegetarians into eating meat is not funny. Neither is tricking Jews or Muslims into eating pork. Neither is tricking someone into eating something they’re allergic to or intolerant of, even if you think they’re lying. Neither is tricking someone into eating bugs or dirt or something else they’d consider disgusting. Just don’t do it.)
  • Exposing someone to something they have a phobia or or find triggering. Eg: if you know your friend is terrified of spiders, don’t leave a fake spider on the kitchen table to scare them.
  • Sexualized pranks (particularly if you’re a man playing them on a woman).

If you’re playing a prank to undermine someone’s unreasonable authority:

  • Don’t hurt innocent bystanders
  • Don’t do things that make you look worse than them
  • Don’t insult them for the wrong reasons (eg: If someone’s abusive and also fat, don’t make a big banner mocking them for being fat. Partly because this hurts fat innocent bystanders)