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What Am I Supposed to Do When Someone Pokes Me on Facebook?

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Poke. Poke.

What are you supposed to do now? The answer depends entirely on who is poking and your relationship with them. At the most basic level, you can either poke your friend on Facebook or choose to ignore them. A Facebook poke is often thought of as a way to say hello or to show that you are thinking about them. Once you poke the person, it will show up in their notifications and they can then choose whether to poke you back or not.

What Are You Supposed to Do When Someone Pokes You?

For a while, Facebook pokes were thought of as a rather creepy, unusual way to flirt with someone. Over time, the poke has gradually evolved. Instead of just being used to flirt with someone, they are also an easy way to reach out to an old friend and show them that you were thinking about them.

Back in 2004, Facebook started under the domain TheFacebook.com. While it looked drastically different than it does today, it did have the poke feature installed. Interestingly, there was no description of what the poke was actually supposed to do. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, said that he wanted to make something that did not have a real reason or purpose to exist. Because of this, Facebook never explained what a poke was supposed to do or what it meant. Instead, everyone who used Facebook was partially responsible for creating the meaning of the Facebook poke.

Since it was first created, Facebook finally defined what a poke was, but the definition is still fairly broad. According to them, a poke is a way of saying hello to someone or getting a friend’s attention for some reason. There are also fun things that people do with pokes such as “poke wars.” In a poke war, two people keep poking each other and hope to get the last poke in before someone signs off. As far as fun goes, it probably makes the list between taking a shower and cleaning your kitchen.

Poking: The New Pick-Up Line?



There have been articles about marriages started from pokes and many, many people who used pokes as a way to flirt before they made a more serious, obvious move. There are many who dislike this tendency. As far as flirting goes, it is about as effortless as a smile but lacks any of the feeling. While it can be a decent complement to your normal flirting (and may show if the other person might be interested in you), it won’t be enough if you want to win that guy or gal’s heart.

Is the Poke Outdated?

Since it first began in 2004, the poke fell out of vogue. While it hobbled along in popularity until nearly 2010, it has basically disappeared in many instances. Since many people developed a distaste for this feature, Facebook redesigned their pages in 2011 to hide the poke button. Instead of being able to poke someone directly from their profile, you now have to go to a special spot on your news feed, search for the poking feature and then poke the person.

While it may have been hidden away, there are still people who use the poke to gently say hello to a friend or casually flirt with an attractive crush. Teens and pre-teens everywhere continuously rediscover the poke wars of yesteryear, and there are still Tweets about poking on Twitter.

Being Polite

While there may be fewer people using the poke button now, there are some general etiquette rules about poking. Unless you dislike the person (If so, I would like to know why they are even on your friends list), you should poke them back. If the person is much older that you, there is an excellent chance that they are rediscovering the poke button and are just trying to say hello. If they are closer to your age, it could be a simple hello or it could be flirting. If you think it is flirting, then you may want to hold off on your poke if you don’t like them so that you do not lea them on.

What Should I Do If Someone Poked Me on Facebook?



The general answer to this is poke them back. Go to your news feed, find the section for pokes and poke them back. It is the nice thing to do and returns the hello.

There are a few exceptions to this rule. If you think that that person is trying to flirt with you, you may not want to poke them back. If you do not like them, poking them back will only lead them on and make them think that you are interested. Most likely, someone who is your age and the opposite gender poked you because they are interested in you. Poking them back shows that you may be interested in them as well.

You do not always have to poke them back though. If your crush just poked you, you can take it as a sign that he or she is initiating contact. Instead of poking them, send them a “Hey, how are you doing?” in Facebook chat. This will help to open up the conversation and get you moving past basic pokes. Plus, it will be a clear indicator that you are interested. He or she may think that your return pokes just mean that you are being polite. If you take it a step further and start talking to them, it shows that you did not just respond out of habit or politeness.

To poke him or her back, go to their timeline. Click on the gear symbol that is locate don the far right side of their banner. In the drop down menu, select “poke.” If it asks you to confirm the poke, click confirm and the poke is sent. Once they receive the poke, they can then choose to poke you back or not. You should get a notification that tells you if they return the poke. If you miss the notification, you can also check to the left of your news feed for the poke option. Click on it, and you can see if anyone has sent you a Facebook poke.

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