Church & Culture
5 Guidelines For Using Humor In A Time Of Crisis (Or Not)
If you're not sure, don't post it. You’ll never regret the joke you don’t tell.

(Photo: Justin humorously explains social distancing, but laughs so hard that he and Manuel forget not to touch their faces.)

Humor is gift from God.

Truly.

The ability to laugh, even (especially?) during a crisis is an important way to find relief and share community.

The ability to laugh, even (especially?) during a crisis is an important way to find relief and share community.

But knowing the line between what’s funny and what’s distasteful can be hard.

So, are there any guidelines we can follow to help us share humor in a responsible way during the current season of difficulty?

Here are a few pointers:

1. Run it by someone else, first

Before posting or re-posting something on social media, ask a trusted friend if you should.

If they cringe, quarantine the joke between the two of you.

2. Laugh with, not at

There’s enough dividing us. Use laughter to unite.

Social distancing is for geography, not humor.

3. Keep it light-hearted, not edgy

While insult comedy is a valid form of communication, it’s hard to do well. It should be left to the professionals. Especially when people are ill or at risk.

Default to the light-hearted, not the edgy.

4. Use it to instruct

Humor has a way of cutting through people’s defenses so they can hear something they might otherwise be closed off to.

For a great example of using humor to instruct during this crisis, check out the Don’t Be A Spreader video from Max and Mel Brooks.

5. If you're not sure, don't post it

You’ll never regret the joke you don’t tell.

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March 20, 2020 at 1:00 AM

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