DOES THE "POKE" MAKE SENSE TO YOU? AN IN-DEPTH LOOK!
Over the past year, I've noticed something very interesting surrounding the Facebook Poke - either people understand it fully, or it makes absolutely no sense and causes complete consfusion and is surrounded in mystery.
Last week, I made a post on my Facebook timeline. It said, "The are two types of people in this world: those that understand the concept of the Facebook Poke, and those that do not." This sparked quite an interesting discussion about the phenomenon known as "poking".
The discussion was so wild, it prompted me to write this post to try to give insight to the people that just don't get the whole "poking" thing. I live in a house divided. Of the Facebookers in my family, two completely "get it", and two can't make any sense out of it. So I will try to give some insight on what I believe poking is all about.
In my Facebook world, I have an inner circle of friends and family who are big believers of the Poke. It is very meaningful to us, and the use of poking is just simply understood automatically. While I've brought several people into my Secret Order of the Poke, there are several others who don't understand it at all.
Some of my new "Pokees", upon receiving their first poke on my behalf, have contacted me immeidately to ask, "why did you do that, and what exactly does that mean?" I get a good laugh out of that reaction.
I find great difficulty at times trying to explain to them why they've been poked, and some don't seem to be able to catch on and understand. But those that do become avid Pokers. But what exactly does it mean?
To members of my inner poke circle, a Poke is a means of staying in touch in a busy world without the need to write emails, instant messages, or making phone calls. Sure, we still keep in touch from time-to-time, but the Poke is a fabulous way to keep people close and let them know that you are alive and well.
To the avid pokers, a Poke is a simple way to say hi. It's an exciting thing to run through your poke list and dole out a fresh round of reaching out to touch your friends. For example, every few days I come to expect a poke from cousin Ritchie, daughter Erika, high school friend Dawn, college buddy Sean, church buddy David, coworker Tandi, and several others.
I even love to get a poke from my lovely wife Schasta, even though she protests all the while. When my daughter and I poke her, the response is usually "WHY DO YOU KEEP POKING ME! STOP!!!", to which my daughter hilariouisly replies, "then quit poking me back!". We just laugh and keep it up.
But my son Scott, like some others, refuses to poke back. His response is usually something along the lines of "that doesn't make any logical sense! I'm not poking anyone!"
Several others get really uneasy when they receive a poke, because it doesn't come with an explanation. Some even get freaked out by the action, and take it in a completely weird way.
The Facebook post brought up some interesting questions. Family friend Sister Kim asked if poking people of the same sex was an acceptable practice, because she had heard that a friend took offense to it. Others even wondered if there was some sort of sexual connotation to the poke.
While poking can be something as simple as a "hello", there's nothing to say that some users don't pop out a poke to express a romantic interest in the pokee. It can spark feelings of creepiness or unease.
In the past, I have had the experience of single guys poking some of my female friends who they are not connected with on Facebook. This is clearly a violatoin of Poke ethics. When this happens, I normally get a message from my female friend asking "who is this weirdo friend of yours poking me, and did you tell him to do that?"
I considered writing a post on my Facebook wall stating a rule that there will be no bird-dogging of my female friends by single men without my expressed written permission, or a $100 fine would be levied against any violators. But I chose to just let it go.
But with all of the good and the bad, the Poke can be a wonderful thing if used properly. In fact, I continue to grow my Inner Poke Circle as time marches on. It is something that my poke family has grown to love.
At the same time, I respect those that have no use for the Poke, don't get the Poke, or are simply befuzzled by what it means. I just stay in touch with those friends the old fashioned way.
What does the Facebook Poke mean to you? Are you an avid Poker, or is it something that you could care less for? Join the Poke discussion and tell me about your poke experience!
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