Of pranks, lies and e- lies
Posted Sunday, January 6 2013 at 02:00
INSIDE OUT. The world today is a risky place to live in. Can we distinguish between truth and pranks? Which jokes will bring out a smile and what situations will make us cry?It is a journey of confusion.
When two Australian Radio DJ’s late last year, made their infamous prank call to the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was admitted, they expected a few laughs and maybe some fame. It seems their objectives were achieved, albeit with some adjustments.
Laughter turned to sobs, and fame came in from the wrong door.
I think the last thing on the mind of the two presenters was that their prank might in any way lead to the demise of a person, the nurse who took the call, and who indeed could not live with the idea of shame. Here is when a question comes to mind: Where do we draw this fine line between fun and hurt?
What is considered a joke in a culture is a very serious matter in another. Some issues that are laughed at in some nations, are considered taboo in other nations. I think after that incident, all media houses should ban pranks, including TV shows broadcasting programmes that are based on fooling people and playing games on them.
What fun is it to send someone in a lift that is actually controlled by the TV crew and then make it stop and send in a little girl disguised as a ghost to scare the unsuspecting victim? Who would not get scared as soon as the lift stops and its lights go off?
Unfortunately, this is not all. In the web world some people who cannot get enough attention, try some other methods to get many people to read them. For this, I have invented a new expression. I call them electronic lies !
One such e-lie was sent in the content of an article that was shared and spread on the social forum, Facebook. This was an update about cancer that was attributed to a very reputable university, and this turned out to be a hoax after the university published an immediate statement denying anything to do with this publication.
Again I think it takes a sick mind to find such weak points in human beings –such as sickness- and turn them into a scheme to benefit one’s own agenda. The biggest problem with such lies, is that many people –unknowingly-will read the lie and share it, and then when truth is revealed, not everyone gets the chance to read the true statement. This, not only harms some people who are living the lie, it creates an environment of mistrust about subjects and matters that might be true and very important by some people who are now wary of online information.
And then there is another interesting phenomenon that is still happening in our world, and no matter how many stories we hear or experiences we gain, some people still believe that our world today is a safe place to live. This is about con men and women.
It happened to a friend who was visiting a huge metropolitan city that buzzes with tourists from all over the world. She was approached by an elderly, smartly dressed lady who pretended to welcome her to the city, and offered her a tip to visit a local department store that offered a once in a year discount which happened to be on that day.
She helped her get a bargain ride to the place which turned out to be only one shop that was a bit remote and with no clients except her. It was then that she realised the trick played on her and left the shop. However, the same transport that brought her, now wanted to charge twice the amount, she had to walk a long distance and in fear of what might happen to her on the way.
Who is to blame here? The smart merchant who brings clients in this way to his shop, or the unsuspecting victim? Whatever the case, it is such a shame that we can no longer trust even the genuine smiles.