FutureFive NZ - The Facebook Poke...

Warning: This story was published more than a year ago.

The Facebook Poke...

When Facebook first launched all those years ago, there was this weird function that allowed you to “poke” someone, or allowed you to be poked.

While the meaning or the purpose of the Facebook poke remains a mystery, accidentally poking someone on Facebook, especially these days, is still an unwanted action.

So how do you backtrack? Contributor Amy Pratt investigates.

It’s late at night, and you are home spending the evening with your significant other; a cheap bottle of wine from the supermarket. Suddenly boredom kicks in.

In the vain hope that noone else has a life either, you decide to see what your friends are doing on Facebook only to discover that they are a) spending time with actual people, b) too busy playing games to chat or c) already in bed as it is past midnight and they know they have to be up in a few hours to be at work (as do you but that is totally beside the point).

So like any reasonable, drunk person you resort to everyone’s favourite Facebook activity – the art of stalking. After sneakily trolling through your friends’ friend lists, you finally find that special person; the one you met at the BBQ the other week who obviously loved your witty banter and amazing attractiveness.

If the person is considerate enough to set their privacy settings at ‘friends of friends’, you can spend a few minutes admiring their photos and deciding that clearly you belong together and will make beautiful babies before becoming millionaires and living the rest of your lives in luxury.

But how to tell this special person of your mutual life plans? You are too many wines in to write it in a message, so why not try that seldomly used and never talked about function – the poke.

Cut to the following morning, once the Panadol kicks in of course. Whilst texting your boss a lame excuse for not coming in and staggering towards the couch, a moment of clarity breaks through the haze and intense panic sets in.

Surely you only thought about poking a certain person, you would never do it…or would you? And just like that, although over 50% of the night cannot be accounted for, you know you hit that poke button and now you must avoid that person for the rest of eternity rather than admitting you were sitting at home drunk and simply fancied them.

Fear not! There is a way to undo this nightmare situation, with your hope being that the object of your affection has not already logged into Facebook that morning (because if they have I’m sorry to say you are screwed!). And the solution is simple: block them.

Simply log into Facebook and head to their profile page. Select the block option and ‘block’ them from seeing anything you do. This will remove the poking history, and they, your mutual friends and the rest of the universe need never know of your drunken shenanigans.

Even if you then unblock them, the poke would have disappeared into oblivion. Then just hope like hell the next time you see the person they don’t mention Facebook in your hearing range as the horror and embarrassment may show on your face - and no amount of blocking can stop that from happening!


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