Making the same joke as several thousand other people

There are a lot of people on the internet. Like, a LOT a lot. This being the case, it’s inevitable that there will be some overlap between you – the cleverest person in the room – and the rest of the people in the world, all of whom are the cleverest person in the room.

This morning, Facebook mistakenly released a bulletin through their Safety Check feature. It was intended for those in areas of Pakistan affected by today’s explosion in Lahore.
Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 1.57.07 PM

Something went sideways with their roll-out of this message and it was sent out world-wide. I’m not sure if every Facebook user received one, but I can confirm that I did. I wanted to do a little bit of digging about it, to check on my security settings. When I determined that it was a far-reaching error, I was relieved. Then I said to myself “Haha! Facebook, are YOU okay? Haha! So funny!”

So funny, right?

I took to Twitter to unleash my latest masterpiece. It was with great disappointment when I learned that I wasn’t the first person to come up with this great zinger. A quick search revealed the following:
Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 1.48.26 PMScreen Shot 2016-03-27 at 1.48.40 PMScreen Shot 2016-03-27 at 1.48.50 PM

Man. The wind is coming out of my FUNNYJOKE sails at an alarming rate.

These jokesters are in such a hurry to publish their great work, they don’t have time for punctuation:

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 1.49.07 PMScreen Shot 2016-03-27 at 1.49.21 PM

I like this because it’s got an “I know you are but what am I” vibe, which feel really current, what with the new Peewee Herman movie and all.

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 1.49.30 PM

This is great, because it’s got some real cultural flavour to it. Hey, Facebook, are your knickers in a twist? Wot?!

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 1.49.42 PM

Some clutch tilde action here. Style points.

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 1.50.17 PM

Some of my favourites were the people who took the time to point out the absurdity of the situation by explaining that they are, in fact, from somewhere other than Pakistan.

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 1.50.05 PMScreen Shot 2016-03-27 at 1.50.36 PMScreen Shot 2016-03-27 at 1.51.18 PMScreen Shot 2016-03-27 at 1.51.27 PMScreen Shot 2016-03-27 at 1.51.51 PMScreen Shot 2016-03-27 at 1.52.30 PM

This was the one tweet that I found that actually mentioned that maybe we should be concerned about the people that Facebook intended to send the message to. It didn’t stop them from making the joke, but… it’s something.

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 1.51.38 PM

I don’t know what these say, but I’m assuming that this amazing Facebook joke transcends the language barrier and might one day bring greater understanding to all peoples.

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 1.54.00 PM

In the end, maybe the easiest possible joke isn’t the best joke, or even a good joke. Joking around doesn’t really solve anything, and we’re never going to actually be the cleverest person in the room, when the room is the internet and you’re in there with an unfathomable throng of humanity.

Perhaps it’s better to take these moments as opportunities for introspection.

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 1.52.12 PM

On a serious note, something really terrible happened today and there’s absolutely nothing funny about it. It’s completely normal, but incredibly depressing that it’s so easy to unplug the actual context of an event like this and become wrapped up in the fact that you were made aware of it in an erroneous, unorthodox way. The medium is the message, I suppose?

The story continues to develop, and it’s on us to remain as informed as possible and to help out in whatever ways we can when the opportunity presents itself. Have a good Sunday.

Advertisements