Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Poke and Superpoke

The lovely Mr BC and I are playing on Facebook.


ME: I am going to poke you and see what happens.

Mr BC: Righto.

ME: Oooh! Ooh! Ooh!

Mr BC: What?

ME: It says 'You have poked James Henry'.

Mr BC: What does it mean?

ME: I don't know. I think it's for flirting.

Mr BC: Oh.

Pause.

Mr BC: Ooh, that means I accidentally flirted with Danny Stack.

Pause.

Mr BC: Still, I don't expect he minds.

Pause.

Mr BC: Probably sees it as a great honour, actually.

A short while later...

Mr BC: Ooh! Richard has updated his profile picture!


It's going to be a long afternoon.

28 comments:

rafael said...

My favourite judgment on Facebook is this, from Hoffmann.

'Social pyramid scheme' pretty much sums it up.

patroclus said...

He's quite right. I'm duty-bound to investigate these things for work, but I'd been putting off Facebook because it's so horribly public.

One part of me thinks that all this public behaviour is a terrible, terrible mistake, and we'll look back on it with horror and embarrassment, like all those people who went madly promiscuous during the War because they thought they'd all be dead tomorrow.

Another part thinks that living out every teeny tiny thought and action and desire in public will eventually become the norm, and there will be a massive tolerance shift to accommodate it.

And a very small part of me really hopes I've invented the term 'tolerance shift' as my special contribution to the madness that is Web 2.0. But I expect a cursory Google search will reveal that I didn't.

rafael said...

The whole publish now, cringe later issue is fascinating, especially for people who might not remember the emotionally reticent days before hugs-and-learning US drama/comedy imports.

My 17-year-old cousin posted a photo on Facebook including new tattoo, and plea not to tell her grandparents. So its a secret, apart, of course, from the millions of people online who know.

Generation Indiscreet.

Sylvia said...

Am I missing something here? I will have to get the children to teach me.

9/10ths Full of Penguins said...

I avoid the poke/flirt question by simply 'throwing sheep' at people instead...

It is childish, but it amuses me

cello said...

Eek, eek, eek! I have done something internety before you. Mind you I only joined Facebook because someone invited me to be a friend and I haven't got round to doing anything else about it. But I will. Oh, yes! And then I'll come and poke you both.

BiB said...

Indeed, it's going to be the longest afternoon of the year, isn't it? Or is that tomorrow? Happy Midsummer!

Fat Roland said...

Throwing sheep is fine. But then there's the dry humping...

Billy said...

I didn't know you could dry hump on Facepack. Well, well, well.

Actually it's the only place I appear under my REAL NAME. Spooky...

Hannah said...

Whatever you do, don't add the music challenge. It'll eat hours of your life and bring out a horribly competitive side you didn't know existed. Or something like that.

Albert said...

I like Facepack, but I don't like the frackin' Observer telling me that poking is equivalent to flirting. I'm beginning to suspect it isn't just Observer Woman that's written by sex-obsessed retards with affluenza. I'll like Facepack more when people stop twitting around with all these half-baked new applications though.

Matt said...

poking isn't as good as the unix way of seeing if someone is online by 'finger'ing them. and they say us IT types are weird people who spend too much time indoors. honestly...

cello said...

Oh dear. I didn't realise that poking meant flirting. I've just flirted with the editor of a rather influential trade magazine then.

Occasional Poster of Comments said...

Have you read what Charlie Brooker had to say about Facebook?

Think I'll give it a miss, for now (until it becomes compulsory); I fall down enough internet blackholes as it is.



Then again, throwing sheep at people does sound fun...

Danny Stack said...

You mean he wasn't flirting with me? Aw, goddammit.

James said...

Gee what is it about facebook at the moment it seems to be everywhere. I'm still managing to resist, how much longer can I hold out?

Urban Chick said...

i also had no idea that poking was akin to flirting

i've been poking a woman in NZ who i barely know back and forth for
weeks

now that i think of it, perhaps throwing a sheep at her would be more appropriate

and dammit, i need more friends (FB is bringing out my ugly competitive side)

patroclus said...

I still have no idea what 'poking' is. Is it like 'nudging' on MSN? Oh, these new social mores, I shall never catch up, never. Best if I just cut my losses now, move to the countryside and start growing potatoes. Like Bryan Ferry.

llewtrah said...

Too much time on your hands?

Marsha Klein said...

I like the idea of potatoes like Bryan Ferry - it would make mashing them an even more satisfactory activity.

entropy said...

Maybe a generation gap thing, this poking = flirting. A bit like flicking rubber bands. Must be plenty of people who regard it as more like waving at someone you know across a room.

rivergirlie said...

well, i could have told you that face book was the place to be, since i have only just caught onto myspace. i'm invariably (and you can set your watch by me) one and a half trends behind everyone else.
i like the sound of poking though (not literally - it doesn't really make a sound, does it?)

patroclus said...

Llewtrah: It's work! No, really it is.

Marsha: I can see your point, although I've come to look more fondly upon Bryan Ferry as I've grown (much, much) older. Now a potato shaped like Vernon Kay, that would be eminently mashable.

Entropy: you have no idea how much your comment has rattled me! I feel like my Dad that time he unwittingly caught sight of his own reflection in a Cote d'Azur nightclub, and wondered what that wizened old bloke was doing there. I'm just off out to the allotment. I may be some time.

Rivergirlie: You're in good company - I missed out MySpace completely, and my presence on Twitter was only fleeting. I still like blogging best.

Valerie said...

Just when I think I'm on top of this Web 2.0 thing, a new thing comes along — have you seen Jaiku, Scouta, Digg? argh. I cannot keep up and it's my business to keep up!

Facebook, though.. my friend Dan (the one who died in a weird accident last year) joined Facebook early on and became one of their gurus. He dragged me kicking and screaming on there, then went and died, leaving me to figure out why I'm there. Hrm. I suppose that in general that's no different than the basic problem of being born.

I would agree with all your "parts" — that is, all this public behavior IS a big mistake (I've already lived to regret it once, in 1987, and I see it's going to happen again), AND it'll eventually become the norm (seriously heading that way already, I think, but then I live in California), and finally, I'm quite happy to give you credit for "tolerance shift". Maybe I'll start using it and referencing you...

entropy said...

Gah, didn't mean to rattle you - I don't think of it as flirting either, though I am probably above the target age range for FB and refused to sign up for ages till pestered to by others (yeah, yeah, that's what we all say).

Smat said...

I'm too scared to even go and look - isn't it full of shrieking teenagers?

patroclus said...

Oh no, it's quite refined, not like MySpace. It just encourages you to reveal way more personal information than you probably ever wanted to.

Kalista said...

Facebook is deemed an exceptionally important social networking tool at university, and whilst it is immense fun, it does have its downsides. a) you become exceptionally nosey b) you get paranoid by the 'underlying meanings' of people's statuses c)bitter ex-boyfriends remove you, hence snubbing you virtually.

Poking someone of the opposite sex, who you are not platonic friends with, is indeed a form of flirting- with sexual connotations. You can also poke friends, in an ironic non flirting way.