Well, folks, it’s almost that time again: Easter. Also known as the end of Lent. Or what should be known as national coming out day for all the people who’ve just spent the past 40 days doing some kind of digital fast. They inevitably come back with a desire to enlighten us with their Enormous Insight Into The Nature of Digital Existence And Everything, before they return to tweeting their latest random thoughts just like they always have.
This year, however, the calendar has afforded us a delightful opportunity: since Lent ends just before April 1, we can and should play some collective pranks on the newly re-digitized. After all, they’re not online to read what we are planning. Here are some options:
- Invent a new YouTube meme that, like the Harlem Shake, requires you to dance like a crazy person: but this time, solo, unmasked and in your underwear. Pay for targeted online ads that tell people about the latest must-join meme as soon as they blog, tweet or Facebook the words “digital fast”.
- Pretend that Facebook changed its privacy settings at the beginning of Lent, and all their ultra-private content has been publicly displayed on their wall for forty days without them knowing it.
- Send them a link to the new app that everybody is using and which is going to leave them friendless and alone unless they immediately sign up, too. The sign-up form should be a web page with a sign-up form that goes exactly nowhere; clicking “submit” should tell them that they have been added to the beta wait list and will be informed when it’s their turn to join.
- Tell them that Twitter has now extended its post length to 200 characters. Let them write their verbose tweets, and we can all mock them when their tweets get awkwardly truncated. What could be more humiliating?
- Convince them that while they were offline, Google Reader shut down, and they will have to find some other way to access online news. This one is particularly hilarious if your digital faster accesses the Internet from within an authoritarian regime, and relies on Reader to get news from beyond the firewall. Tell them they’re now going to be limited to the same censored content as all their neighbors, and ROTFL!