Poking Straight Guys On Facebook

It would not be unfair to say that I’ve spent a fair number of the weekends of my life “poking guys”.    Yet I must say that this Facebook era brings a very different meaning to that phrase.  My buddy Nitin was my first serious poking partner on Facebook.   No matter what time of the day or night I logged in,  there was a notification that Nitin has poked you.   And I always poked back.  And he’d poke me again and lather, rinse repeat.       Unlike those earlier weekends of poking more…..tactile friends,  these poke fests with Nitin never seemed to come to any sort of climax or uhhh conclusion.

Over time,  I found myself also frequently poking my dear friend Jake.   At first I always clicked and poked back just as soon as the little notice thingy came up.   But as I found myself poking more and more people,  none of whom I ever have or likely ever will meet face to face,  and who would at the very least have been frankly uninterested in the sort of poking I used to do so much of when I was a younger man, I’ve actually started returning all pokes only once or twice a day.   And sometimes,  it still seems such an odd way to pass the time.    I have asked most everyone who has ever poked me,  what the point or purpose is,  though honestly in all of those pokes I only got one answer that made much sense.

A friend who would probably prefer not to be named and linked told me that the Poke button was meant as a way of getting someone’s attention.    Like if they were ignoring a hot thread in a forum they were usually all over or if they hadn’t responded to something you posted to their wall a few days ago,  the Poke button could be used to say in effect “hey man,  pay attention and answer me already”.    My friend thinks most Facebook users these days are ignorant of online history.   And he certainly seems correct that most of the people who go around poking each other for hours on end don’t really think about what it means at all.

What about you?   Have you  Poked anyone on Facebook?   Do you think  it means anything?

Just Friends (Not Just Facebook Friends)

Anyone who has used Facebook for more than a short while and is not completely closed to accepting friend requests and at least occasionally meeting new people is well aware that there is a big difference between “friends”  and “Facebook friends”.   Even if you are Not in fact a LION* chances are  that your  “Facebook friends”  are an odd mixture of people whom you’ve known in different places and at different times over the years of your life.   I have some good friends who maintain in their minds (and thus in their realities) a very real distinction between  “friends”  and “online friends”.

A buddy recently mentioned to me that he personally will not agree to meet an online friend face to face without first speaking with them on the telephone.    And I know this buddy is hardly alone in that point of view.  (As a hearing impaired person who physically can NOT talk on the phone,  I would be tempted to say something like  “stay the frig away from me you hearing chauvinist”,  except that he is a good friend whom I’ve known for years and who is in fact extremely accommodating about my hearing problem.)   I personally do not make any distinction between  “online friends”  and “friends”.   For me they are all just friends.    After yesterday talking about and linking to a handful of old friends,  I thought that today I would throw a bit of link love to some of my newer friends:

Holly Jahangiri— writer, mom, social media bon vivant and super blogger  is the author of  A Puppy Not A Guppy and several other children’s books as well as the recently released  Innocents And Demons.   Like me,  Holly is an online old-timer going back to the earliest days of Compu$erve and GENIE,  where she was a sysop.   (Sysop is a low tech synonym for indentured servant who runs forums not for pay but to avoid huge online access bills.)   While Holly tells me that she is not a LION* she has over the years built up a huge circle of friends, fans and admirers who visit her personal blog  (It’s All A Matter Of Perspective) and who are now flocking to her newest niche blog The Next Goal.

Tom Cooley is totally drama free.  While he is something of an expert at promoting content  (ask him about Buzzfeed) he tends to be on the quiet side and almost never raises his voice nor gets rankled.  Tom has developed a big interest in aquaponics and along with Michael Q Todd  is one of the founders of #sustainchat which is working to use social media to work on addressing the environmental and social needs of our planet for a sustainable tomorrow.

Jake Kern is a true friend.   With a remarkable eye and hours of research each day,  Jake publishes Inherently Infinite and Intimate a collection of some of the best photography to be found on the interwebz.   Jake has a remarkable gift for understanding people and mediating disputes and is a lot of fun to hang out and shoot the breeze with.    As I said to Dane yesterday  “…the thing of it is, to have friends you have to be a friend. Whatever that means to you. (and your friends)”.

If you haven’t already met these folks,  I urge you to check out their blogs and say hello.   (I assure you none of them bite;  and if Holly threatens to stick Prunebutt on you don’t worry,  he’s imaginary.)   Here’s hoping that your week is going well.

PS–the photo above does NOT depict MY “Facebook friends”  😉