Today we want to tackle to topic of Facebook Poking. Most people are poked at some point and it seems everyone has a different understanding of it.

I just want to be clear right from the start, I’ve always thought thatpoking had sexual connotation. After a little research it turns out digital poking has a longer history than I do:

“The computing language BASIC was born in 1963 and enjoys twin delights of the PEEK and POKE commands.

These commands would let programmers insert some data into the memory (the POKE) or read some data already in memory (the PEEK).”


Okay, so that was the poke then, but what is the poke now? According to

“The poke feature allows one user to virtually poke another. Some users believe that the poke feature is some sort of Facebook flirting. However, according to Facebook’s FAQ section on the feature, “a poke is a way to interact with your friends on Facebook.”

Well thats pretty vague, so lets see what else the Facebook guys say:

“When we created the poke, we thought it would be cool to have a feature without any specific purpose. People interpret the poke in many different ways, and we encourage you to come up with your own meanings.” In principle, this is intended to be a “nudge” to attract the attention of the other user. However, while many Facebook users, as intended, use the feature to attract attention or say hello, some users construe it as a sexual advance.”

Alright, so it looks like I don’t have anythingin writingto support my claim aside from 1000s of forum posts. Understandably not all the forum posts agreed with me either. For example, drewy monster, onYahoo! Answers, sayspoking is, “a form of bullying” for polite people.

Regardless, I stand by my ground that poking is a form of flirting. If you don’t agree with me, be careful who you poke because the recipient is likely to think it means something else.

Happy poking everyone,

Adam M.