independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Practical jokers turn to technology

Facebook has become a hotbed of practical jokes, survey found

Changing someone's status on Facebook and sending a fake text from a friend's mobile have taken over from the humble whoopie cushion as favourite practical jokes, a new survey has found.

Half of the practical jokes carried out by 18 to 24-year-olds end up being shared online, and about 40% of those polled said they were likely to "prank" a friend with the aid of technology rather than with traditional pranking methods, the survey by OnePoll revealed.

Although jumping out at someone made number one on the top 10 list, followed by making prank phone calls, the survey shows that Facebook is now used in one of the prominent tricks of today.

About 13% have had their Facebook status changed after leaving their page unattended, with 67% of 18 to 24-year-olds admitting it had happened to them.

This was followed by sending fake texts from someone's phone, and engineering a "photobomb" - jumping into the background of someone's photograph, as it is being snapped, without their knowledge.

Nearly a third of those surveyed also owned up to using smartphone functions or apps to play pranks on others. Having a laugh with friends is also a major incentive for pranksters today, with 41% admitting to posting a prank online for the amusement of others.

Men are the main culprits, with 74% admitting to carrying out pranks compared with 61% of women.

The research also reveals that people from the north of England are the most mischievous, with more than half prepared to change someone's Facebook status compared with over a third who live in the South.

People in the North also cannot resist a prank call, with more than half admitting to carrying out this cheeky call compared with just under half who live in the South.

Around 2,000 people were questioned for the research commissioned by Sour Patch Kids maker Maynards.

Press Association

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