Social Question

flo's avatar

Why does a practical joke on the phone feel less harmlful than one done in person?

Asked by flo (7643 points ) December 8th, 2012

We can’t just barge in a hospital and inturrupt the people caring for the patients to make practical jokes. Yet we think it is “not so bad” to make practical jokes on the phone like the Australian radio DJs, that involved a receptionist or nurse who ended up killing herself the day after. This is not to say the DJs willfully caused her death, but why do we tend to think if something is not done in person, then it can’t be that bad?

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10 Answers

ucme's avatar

Over the phone is too easy/accessible, the cowards way if you like. There are no immediate consequences, after all, you’re only a hang-up away from redemption.
Face to face escapades allow far more risk to the perpetrator, one which only the bold are prepared to take.

flo's avatar

Here is the story.

flo's avatar

@ucme But my point it is the same thing, and they should be treated the same way.People who target hospitals, fire stations, etc. should be strug up.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

I made a comment on this story yesterday on here and I noticed in the newspapers here today that a radio DJ up here in Scotland has stopped doing all of his phone pranks due to what happened. The difference with this guy is that people would contact him and set up their best friend/brother/parent or whoever (since they knew the person well) and he had a number of different characters that he would then pretend to be.

This to me is a practical joke as the person is known, the reaction is known, but what those two people did went beyond a joke and appear to have believed that because they are part of the media then they would, in a way, be protected.

ucme's avatar

@flo Well yeah. that much is not up for debate.

flo's avatar

@TheProfoundPorcupine that is it. I think the ownwers of the station media in general) feel totally entitled.

filmfann's avatar

I don’t feel that the phone prank is less harmful. The question, for me, is invalid.

burntbonez's avatar

Is there some proof that people think phone pranks are less harmful than other pranks? I don’t believe this is so.

Are you asking why people commit pranks? Obviously, they think it is funny and have no idea they can actually hurt people. At least, I hope they don’t know they can hurt people. If they don’t care if they hurt people, I’m going to have to reassess my view of humanity. But I still think most people are good hearted.

flo's avatar

@filmfann I’m talking subconsciously. Like a lot of things, something really horrible happens and that makes us slap our foreheads.

flo's avatar

@burntbonez I have been thinking about the proof. I have no proof as such.

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