Social Network Behavior: Facebook Poking

Poking. Such a creepy and slightly perverted gesture. Well, everywhere unless you are co-staring in the movie Superbad and sleeping next to your friend in a cocoon via sleeping bag ‘boop boop.’

And apparently, unless you are participating in the social network we know and love called, Facebook.  When I first signed up for Facebook (practically back in the 90’s it seems) I was unaware of this movement you could make on the site.  But when I found out I could click on one of my friends pages and ‘Poke Bob’ I didn’t understand.  Does this mean I’m angry at them? Can I personalize my poking message? Will this go public?  It was all a hazy mystery.

Nowadays, poking is so much more versatile than that. Poking someone on Facebook could mean so many things, and I’m here to clarify:

Poking Etiquette: What it Means to Poke on Facebook

An Act of Flirtation [I like you!]

Many individuals utilize to tool to flirt. I’ve seen it, and I’ve done it back.  The poke usually happens after you meet someone new, or re-kindle a cyber romance between someone you’ve been friends with for a while. This could easily happen in booty calls (see next bolded clarification).

An Act of ‘I Want to Have You in Bed’ [I’m horny!]

Booty calls find poking and easy and care-free way to keep in touch with another booty call.  Poking can be seen as a slightly kinky gesture and the outreach to the other booty call (one that may not have been activated in a while) that isn’t too intrusive.  The poke could also be easily ignored under this point of etiquette and nobody would feel offended or denied (because it is very well somebody did not see the poke).

An Act of Apology [I’m sorry!]

This happened to me recently. A boy (seemingly immature) wronged me when he sent me a rude text. He tried to tread water by softly poking me over Facebook. It was an odd gesture of course, but it made me laugh at its adolescent immaturity. The poke war ended after a mutual understanding that his wrong-doing was simply mediocre.

An Act of Being (just plain) Creep-tacular [It’s Creepy!]

People you’re friends with on Facebook (that are usually slightly older) will communicate with you by poking. Then shiz gets creepy.  No one should every act in this ‘peeping-tom-like’ manner.  One must know the opposing poker relatively well and one must be within a 10 year old age gap to appreciate the gesture.

An Act of Teasing the Application w/ Friends [It’s Funny!]

My old roommate and I used to have poking wars because we thought it was funny. And maybe it makes you feel loved. Kind of like the Pillsbury Dough Boy did when you were four, it’s just so cute! You can do this for a while, but these pokes fade – you find news ways to laugh.  When Bumper Stickers were invented during the Twi-Hard period about a year ago, poking none-less fizzled between close friends.

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Author:bechaffee

University of Saint Thomas graduate. Minnesota-bred and happy to talk about the weather any time you’d like! Strongly believes any situation can be bettered by a slice of generously buttered toast or Phil Dunphy. Would get arrested to touch Justin Timberlake’s face. Always trying to be a better person by not wishing horrible karma on people driving slow in the fast lane. Hear more: @twitter @instagram

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3 Comments on “Social Network Behavior: Facebook Poking”

  1. July 21, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    Poking on Facebook should be banned, along with FarmVille. (I’m jealous of those people’s free time.)

  2. October 29, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    Great post! I absolutely dislike poking – it’s irritating! I agree with Victoria and do think that it should be banned. After all, there’s no purpose of it. I recently wrote a post about it and would love for you to read it: http://tannideb.wordpress.com/2011/10/29/the-top-5-things-i-hate-about-facebook-social-media-site-stalk-comments-grammar-error-poking-complicated-relationship/

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