(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)
I managed to get through April Fool’s Day pretty much unscathed, unless you count a slightly demented cat trying to ankle tap me from under the bed as an April Fool’s Day prank.
Avoiding the many and varied pranks that populated the internet wasn’t really particularly difficult, since I spent most of the morning stretched out on the couch reading, making the most of an extended long weekend off work.
As usual, Google had a range of jokes, ranging from the not-particularly-believable Google Maps Pokemon Challenge to the ridiculous but sadly too believable Gmail Shelfie that popped up on logging in to your email.
With the Pokemon Challenge, Google explained you’d need to use the map to find nearby Pokemon, then catch them by going to the location in person before adding them to your Pokedex. While I’m sure there are plenty of fans who would be keen to take on the role of Pokemon Master such as my nephew Zeke), I’m pretty sure there would be few people who wouldn’t have twigged that this one was a prank.
However, the Gmail Shelfie, or the SHareable sELFIE, likely had a ring of truth to it for many users: “everyone can now set your Shelfie as their Gmail theme “so they can enjoy checking, reading, and writing emails while seeing your friendly face in the background”.
And while we’re on the subject of selfies, please: stop with the #makeupfreeselfie craze. If you want to donate to cancer research, then do so. But honestly, taking a photo of yourself sans mascara and lippy doesn’t really do a lot to raise awareness of cancer. Besides, some of us rarely wear makeup anyway, so it sort of loses its oomph. I suppose I could just post a #lookingmorehaggardthannormal photo on Facebook instead.
My personal favourite from Google was the Auto Awesome Photobombs, featuring the Hoff. Yes, the feature claimed to let celebrities make a spontaneous appearance in your pictures. Well, just one celebrity to start with: David Hasselhoff, the man, the legend, the Speedo-filler.
If you fancy getting your bum into a more perky state, Virgin Active came up with the idea of a pair of undies with a digital counter on the waistband that counted every time you did a butt-clench, while Domino’s opted for an edible pizza box. Sounds quite reasonable.