Today I want to dispel the rumour that a poke is just a poke. A poke is not just a poke, it’s a POKE. Because you can’t hear me, I just did that thing where I re-emphasised the word the second time in order to give it seedy subtext.
I’m concerned about Facebook poking. There seems to be a lot of poking going on, but no mass consensus to what it means culturally. Obviously Facebook has given it a meaning, but you can give anything a title, a meaning and the world will do whatever it likes with it. Including changing the meaning altogether.
Imagine purchasing a generic branded can from the supermarket, and finding beans inside one week, and lollies inside the next. Depending on who you’re poking, it can be taken as anything from”Hi” to “I want to sleep with you”.
A poke is never just a "Hey, how are you?", it’s a "How you doin?’" Joey from Friends style.
Culturally, that’s my understanding of what a Facebook poke is. What is scary is that you’ve got all of these people poking each other with no agreed cultural meaning.
For instance, my Dad and I were chatting the other week and he said he had poked a few people on Facebook. My reaction was "Dad! You can’t just go around poking people! They will get the wrong idea!".
Poking is a loaded gun.
Poking should of been born as a means of showing interest in another person, then there would be no confusion whatsoever. Instead, they made it a way of nudging someone to get their attention, and society gave it a seedy life of its own.
So, with regards to poking I say:
Poke away if you’re single and interested. If you’re in a relationship and happy, don’t go giving or receiving pokes because you’ll get a name for yourself.
Because poking has a dirty underbelly, it’s safer not to poke. But if you can’t keep your poke in your pants, perhaps have a conversation prior to poking so that you are both poking for the right reasons.
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