While the origins of April Fool's Day are disputed, ranging from Geoffrey Chauncer and The Canterbury Tales, to folk tradition, to now-lost Pagan festivities, by now it's a fairly common tradition.
On the balance, April Fools is a good thing. It's easy to get lost in our own heads, and a reminder not to take everything too seriously and laugh at the little things can be beneficial. Setting aside a day to play tricks is, in many ways, less nerve-wracking than being on edge all year round, and the degree of planning and co-operation that go into some of those pranks is honestly inspiring.
From a BBC announcer in 1957 testing his old teachers' proclamation that people were foolish enough to believe that spaghetti grew on trees, to groups of people co-ordinating a single prank.
However, as with all things, it's possible to go too far.
Shared laughter over a moment of gullibility, or a well-planned joke, or a light-hearted tease, is a wonderful feeling.
Rather less wonderful, are pranks that cross the line to mean-spirited or traumatic. Some things should not be joked about, and the unhappy victims do not appreciate being told to lighten up because it's "Just a joke!"
There have been multiple instances of bad-taste jokes being broadcase by News Hosts, and accidentally causing widespread panic, or even National Security incidents. A reputable news site reporting a UFO lead to a mass evacuation of thousands before they could clarify that it was a joke. Police and Emergency Services have been mustered over prank calls about murder or robbery.
People have been left feeling hurt or uncared for because they made a big announcement without checking the date, and were laughed off before the listener realised they were serious, amid a flood of other such 'Joke' announcements.
As a benchmark, ask yourself whether the person you're pranking is likely to laugh at your joke, or take you seriously.
People who have lost loved ones to Cancer, or survived it themselves, are unlikely to find jokes about a Terminal Illness funny. Members of the LGBTQ+ community will not laugh at fake Coming Out pranks. People who struggle with fertility issues won't appreciate your 24 hour baby announcement.
Stunt proposals, break-ups or deaths in the family might be funny between two people with a shared sense of humour, but probably shouldn't be shared on social media.
Humans are social creatures, who poured our survival stats into community and connection. Humor is part of that; a punchline shared followed by a huge grin inviting you to join in the laughter. But the true art of humor is just that: an art. The best jokes are ones that genuinely entertain without hurting or offending.
Another facet of our shared humanity is compassion. Today, many people will post requests to social media that they not be involved in jump-scares, or list the things that they will find triggering, rather than funny. Take those requests into account when planning your April Fools Day.
Respect for your listener doesn't ruin a joke, it enhances it. There is a difference between punching up and kicking down, and at the core of it is the knowledge that different people find different things funny. Some people can laugh at their own trauma, others can't.
Mean-spirited mirth isn't funny.
Be a jokester, not The Joker.
While I've probably cemented my reputation as an un-funny kill-joy with this article, I'd love to hear any April Fool's jokes in the comments.