Facebook Is Trying To Make The Poke A Thing Again
Let’s hark back to 2004. Ashton Kutcher had a trucker hat surgically implanted on his head, Lil Jon’ was still a thing, and you couldn’t go out in public without running into someone wearing a “Vote For Pedro” shirt” It was also the year when Mark Zuckerberg introduced the world to The Facebook, a social network originally designed to allow “dumb fucks” at Harvard to connect with each other that would eventually normalize the practice of sharing the most intimate details of your life with soulless corporations.
While MySpace originally had a stranglehold on the market when it came to sharing your personal information with strangers online, Facebook quickly began to take over despite the fact that you couldn’t make the background sparkle or have your favorite song play when someone visited your page. Facebook had plenty of features that revolutionized how people interacted with each other, but there might not be any one more iconic than The Poke.
The Poke meant different things to different people. Some got into Poke Wars for reasons neither side really understood. Others used it as an elementary form of flirting— it was more aggressive than telling a friend of a friend of your crush that you maybe liked them, but far less bold than sending a “Hey…” on AIM. I still don’t entirely understand what The Poke was originally designed for, but I do know middle school me loved the dopamine rush that came with getting one.
I assume that for most people reading this The Poke is a distant memory of a simpler time, but it appears Facebook is doing what it can to rectify the forgotten feature. The Next Web reports the company is testing out a revitalized version of the feature in select countries that allows users to do things like high five and wink at each other.
Now that sliding into DMs is a socially accepted practice, I’m not sure if people will ever be able to return to more rudimentary methods of hitting on each other, but I certainly respect the effort.