I’m not gay.
Nor is what I am about to ask in any way intended to open a debate, exploring the political/social discussion around sexual orientation.
But there’s been a very perplexing question floating around in my head, which expands every time the ‘Poke’ suggestions on facebook include some of my female friends…
If I poke a girl, and I’m a girl, am I giving her reason to question my sexual orientation?
The ‘Pokes’ I’ve always gotten on facebook have been from the opposite sex (and I’ve never initiated ‘Poke’, but rather responded back, as I’m old-school and diehard in believing the whole ‘the man is the hunter’ theory… so all you little young chickies chuckling at me for believing in that theory and think otherwise, you come see me… Wonderbras don’t get men, nor does collagen… it’s AT-TI-TUDE, ladies, attitude… but let us leave that for another blog entry)…
Yet, I have never been ‘Poked’ by a female. So when that facebook ‘Poke’ suggestion thingy lists women among the potential Pokees, I always wonder, why don’t I Poke them and why don’t they Poke me?
Why does this bother me so much? Because apparently, I do have the time to worry about it.
Nevertheless, I really would like to ‘Poke’ a girl and say that I liked it (hey, I’m 38, so that’s pretty much the extent of humor I can offer via a Kate Perry pun). To do that though, I would first need to define what essentially ‘The Poke’ insinuates.
And since there is no real life social analogy on which the facebook ‘Poke’ was based, one can only start to deduct its overall intention through the ways in which pokes are used in various real life sociological situations.
On the most innocent level, I may poke someone at a table in order to request the passing of a condiment. (Poke) “Mary, please pass the salt.”
On a secondary semi-innocent level, I may poke someone on the shoulder to get their attention. (Poke) “John, remember me?”
At a tertiary questionably innocent level, I may poke a friend to draw her attention to someone of interest to us having entered the room or interacting with a viable contender seeking his courtship. (Poke) “Lisa, look who Mike is talking to.” (Simultaneous catty response to evident female threat by me and Lisa) “BITCH.”
Leaving the last level, at the pre-hook up or already hooked up phase outside the realm of friendship, in which poking may be considered as the indication to begin the foreplay that leads to… well… the playing.
Upon analyzing these poking situations, if I attempt to surmise how they are analogous to the purpose of the facebook ‘Poke’, I can surely omit:
Pass me the salt.
The facebook ‘Poke’ could indeed be a ‘remember me’, but when the Pokee pokes the Poker back, and the Poker pokes the Pokee again, that negates this option.
What if the ‘Poke’ is meant to draw our attention to something? But since it there’s no subsequent explanation in terms of to what our attention is being drawn, I fail to see the success in creating the ‘Poke’ for that purpose.
However, since we are not within physical proximity of many people we would otherwise be attracted to and approach when given an opportunity outside the virtual world, it would seem logical that a ‘Poke’ does indeed serve to initiate pre-foreplay foreplay in the absence of physical proximity.
So, if I ‘Poke’ a girl, I may well be passing on a message that I’d like to take a cruise on the relationship rather than the friendship. Then again, if I do ‘Poke’ a girl who knows me well enough, she may take it as nothing at all and chalk it up to silliness…
You know, Mark Zuckerberg, with all the ridiculous changes you make to facebook, you could at least resolve this dilemma for me and for all other people out there who have the time to worry about this.
End it already. Just make a Platonic Poke button and be done with it. Really.