Pinky Pie

Facebook poke & Me

Posted on: April 23, 2011


Dressed for success for The Geek Squad … President Obama and Mark Zuckerberg. AP photo

She liked me. I could feel that. The way you feel when the cards are falling right for you, with a nice little pile of blue and yellow chips in the middle of the table. Only what I didn’t know then was that I wasn’t poking her. She was poking me, with a deck of marked cards and the stakes weren’t any blue and yellow chips. They were dynamite. — My apology to Fred McMurray in Double Indemnity

****

I don’t know exactly how it began, but I am in an extensive poke exchange on Facebook. It began with an accidental poking by me to someone extensively younger than me. I immediately followed that poke with this cryptic message, “I didn’t know what I was doing. I hardly know you.”

He poked back. I began thinking about Sam Spake or other film noir detectives investigating this poking thing. Filmed in black and white, its dialog might go something like this:

Barbara Stanwyck: Last time I poked, you had a wife. 


Robert Ryan: Maybe next time you look, I won’t.

Barbara Stanwyck: That’s what they all say.

            _ My apologies to Clash by Night”

****

What is the real meaning of ‘Poking’? It has nothing to do with a poke in the eye or nose. It began as an easily-clicked button on Facebook in the days when the social network was all about college students. At that point, I’m told, the poke had sexual overtones.

That’s why I have not been a poker until that misguided poke occurred a week or two ago. And now, it’s gotten out of hand or out of finger. It’s willy-nilly poking with a certain person and I ain’t sayin’ with whom.

****

I admit it. I clicked that poke button on Facebook. And I’m not going to say who I poked or who poked back.  See, no private I in a cheap suit with snapped-brim fedora will worm it out of me. 

           From my own film noir conversation with myself.

****

President Obama visited the Facebook office this week, where he undoubtedly was “friended” by many. He and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg were dressed like they could work for The Geek Squad at Best Buy if their current gigs don’t work out. – black suits, white shirts and ties. The jackets came off after Obama noted he was the man who got Mark Zuckerberg to wear a tie instead of the usual sweatshirt hoodie.

In comments at the start of the Facebook town hall meeting, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg announced a rule. “No poking the president.”  It wasn’t a bit film noir.

****

I can confirm that Obama and I are not the poking duo.

What does a poke mean now? Yahoo! Answers says, ”It means what you want to think it means. Some people poke you because they think it’s funny. Some people poke you because they like you. Others poke you because they’re horny. Basically, there’s no clear meaning to what the poke is, but it’s just there to initiate conversation.”

 There is a page on Facebook – where else? – that wants to explore that issue. Here’s what it says:

Poke… نخزة… por… σπρώξιμο… puxão… peta…

Say it how you want it, but can it really mean the same thing to so many different people…

Lets face it ‘Poking’ people on Facebook mean pretty much one thing to most of us… or does it… Surely it means much more than ‘Lets have Sex’ as suggested by so many other groups on here. Or maybe I’m completely wrong

 http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=7483619555

****

In that experiment we are supposed to send out pokes and see what happens. Alas, no one so far has participated in that social experiment. Thus, we may never really know what the heck a poke means.

****

I have one last apology, this time to Humphrey Bogart, about what he might have said about Lauren Bacall if the movie, The Big Sleep, was made in the 21st Century:

“She was worth a poke. She was trouble.”

I’m hoping the person who is poking me would agree.

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1 Response to "Facebook poke & Me"

Who is poking my mother!???!! I demand answers!

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