Maybe I'm just loosing my touch or maybe I've never had one, but I find myself being increasingly cautious when it comes to banter, leg pulling, humor.
Why? Hmmm . . Let me count the ways . .
Unless "X" knows me he/she may "take me seriously", no matter how many facial clues I offer, perhaps because people's s skills for accessing real time social-facial clues are eroding? (Maybe I should just send a banter text? Argh, no, that's even worse.)
There are so many topics that invoke political (in)correctness, politics, sensitivities
The number of "literal folks" appears to be on the rise. (Can you say "autism spectrum disorder"?)
People's background stress levels may be highter than in the past
After a generation of "everyone gets a trophy" there may be a vast amount of sensitivity to anything perceived as "negative". Unfortunately, feigned or postured negativity - as a set up or prelude - is a common approach to versions of humor
Adult ADHD - "Huh? What did you say?"
Human tuning for "input overload", i.e., excess application of filters to inputs
"Don't make me think!", as an approach to messaging, may have planted its roots a bit more deeply than expected. Unfortunately, humor often requires a bit of thought.
Is general skepticism on the rise? (What's he saying? Why? Leading to a failure to appreciate . . "he's kidding".
A generation or two, raised on "stranger danger" are simply not open, at first thought or "gut response", to "seeing the funny at first glance", in the stranger - ergo the "deer in the headlights" response when I attempt a public pun, exercise in ironic statement, etc.
The startle response that comes from being so tuned into earbuds, smartphone screens, etc. that a real time human contact or attempt at outreach often has to first oversome the system reset needed to pull the person back into the real world. This puts a damper on real-time "observational humor" when so many . . aren't observing.
The user of digital devices as a tool to turn off the world, as if erecting a digital blinking sign "Don't bother me I'm doing something important! I'm updating my FB page!" That is, there is literally a shrinking base of humans to engage in the here and now.
Or maybe I'm just lousy at banter, humor, jesting.
I know people value and perceive humor, but of late, it appears that those whose livelihood is built on wielding humor often resort to extreme gestures, over the top imagery, contorted facial expressions, etc. Think "John Stewart". Sure, he can be subtler with the already primed and senstized in crowd but even he often resorts to over the top measures to "make the funny point".
Is it just me or are these challenging times for punsters, ad hoc humorists, common jokers, foils, wits?
And, yeah, yeah "It's just you!" is forthcoming in this thread . . . but is that the best YOU got? Really?
Okay, well, you gotta start somewhere . . . "A trophy for you!". :p, :-/
Are we primed to laugh or are we primed for something else?
Is funny funny as ever or has something changed?
What does it take to be funny in 2015?