A Quick Note About Facebook Pokes


Ok, I thought it was understood: pokes on Facebook imply blatant flirting. A poke is the virtual equivalent of a cheesy pickup line. In the early days, when the site was only open to my classmates, this code was clearly understood by everyone. Now, in the past year since Facebook opened up to everyone with an email address, I get pokes from professionals, colleagues and other people I assume (and hope) don’t understand it. Unless (and even if) you’re a young high school or freshman user flirting with a classmate, avoid potential creepiness and just send a nice hello message. I wonder, does “nudge” on Twitter mean the same thing?

-Amanda Mooney


5 Responses to “A Quick Note About Facebook Pokes”

  1. 1 Will

    Haha oh, the poke. I always explained it to co-workers as a “virtual tap on the shoulder”. but, poking is indeed taken way more literally in a collegiate setting.

  2. Okay… -laughs- Another POV on Facebook (again). So odd, when I think you also were early adopters? I don’t know your school years. Anyway.

    I never thought of it as flirt-poking. It made me laugh, a little, to read this. When I started using Facebook in its debut year, my friends and I used poking for two reasons: 1) Hey! I’m online, you’re online. Schweet. A la Will’s comment above. [or] 2) Hey, you forgot about me. What about that message I sent you? I’m still here!

    I paused to consider that, perhaps, people had been flirting with me and I didn’t know it [that happens a lot irl, too]. However, given who was poking me, and why, I still have reason to believe this is not the case. I don’t know if Twitter nudges are similar; I never sent one. I know MSN nudges are more toward the “#2” I described above.

    Have you ever received a poke not in flirtation? What makes you come to this flirtation conclusion? Why do you think it was ‘clearly understood’–when it may have been among your circle of friends? (Or, perhaps, an understanding that mine clearly missed! Haha).

  3. AYPK on Twitter officially “nudge” means “please update” as in you’ve said nothing for ages.
    So a bit like a boyfriend perhaps, but nothing sexual in it AFAIK.

    I don’t think it would work in real life either “may I nudge you” or “would you like another nudge”, “whatever nudge the lady is having”, “I really like the way you’re wearing that nudge today”, “may I have the pleasure of this nudge” “I’ already nudging someone else, but you rock more”

    They could work as well as my other chat up lines, AKA, badly ;-)

    I’m pretty sure I have heard “did you just nudge my girl friend” and “she’ll nudge any body” but maybe that was in second life, or in a dream…

    I can see “wave at” being equally crass in Seesmic – LOL

    Nudge nudge wink wink

  4. Interesting..

    I think of pokes as… saying a quick hello, of course without words. Just when you want someone to know you’re thinking of them (but maybe don’t have much to say at the moment). Never thought of them as flirty, really, just a little poke. My cousin poked me the other day (ok – I’m immature enough to think that just sounded a bit bad). And although he joined Facebook later in life my reaction wasn’t “Eww my cousin poked me” etc…

    Also, Twitter’s nudge is definitely as Peter above mentioned, a way to say “update already!!” etc… Also not flirting.

  5. i have read your article and it was so good. i just love reading your article coz i learn something new. :) hope to read more soon :)


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