Monday, 20 October 2008

Poke Me, I'll Poke You Back




Someone, somewhere, is doing something and it is of the utmost importance that they let you and 237 of their other friends know about it immediately.

Just today I learnt several pieces of valuable information about people I know well, that I wouldn't have been aware of if it wasn't for a certain social networking site. For instance; one of my friends 'just had bangers and mash', another is 'ordering a cot' and one, quite simply, 'loves it'.

It is quickly becoming apparent to me that giving people a voice in the global realm of the Internet, is quite possibly the biggest mistake man has made. Sure, some bright spark split an atom once and made nuclear war possible. Granted there was a slight hiccup involving minority groups in Germany at the beginning of the twentieth century, but when all is said and done, were either of those things as consistently annoying as the unbelievable amounts of useless information that people decide to share with us online?

Before you begin to point accusing fingers at me, I assure you I am self-aware enough to know that this blog, is in its very essence, a shining example of what I am talking about. But at least it's not completely arbitrary in its content (just around 90% of it was my last estimate).

If the status updates on Facebook are bad enough then Myspace has taken the crown for providing people with the opportunity to self-publicise their glaring vapidity. Not only does Myspace have  said 'status updates', but also a 'bulletin feature', which as far as I can tell only serves as a means for people to publish quizzes they've taken about themselves. One of my 'friends' - and I use the term loosely - feels the need to take virtually identical quizzes on an almost daily basis.

This may come as a shock to you, but I don't rightly care what your favourite colour is, what you are listening to right now, or what time you went to bed last night. You are taking up valuable Internet space which could be used for angry YouTube comments or pornography, two things that are not often held in a high regard but are invariably more entertaining than your shameless, and startlingly uninteresting self-promotion.

Some people however, avoid such wordiness at any cost. For those who don't have the time, or motivation to  write updates or even message people on Facebook (which in itself is a tool designed to communicate with people you don't care about enough to call), there is always the 'poke'.

It took me a fair amount of time to figure out exactly what a 'poke' was. The pragmatist in me assumed that if someone had designed this feature then it must, in some capacity, serve a purpose. It does not. The 'poke' is exactly what it sounds like. It is the equivalent of  spying a friend in a bar and instead of striking up a conversation, extending your finger in their general direction, pushing it into their flesh and then returning to whatever you were doing.

If you are able to muster the energy to move your cursor over the little 'poke' icon and click, then would it be too much to ask that you could possibly type a paragraph of greeting? A sentence of well wishes? At the very least, at the risk of sounding demanding; could you stretch to a simple 'hello'? The real crux of the thing is that once you have been poked, you have to poke back. This isn't a legally binding law so much as a compulsion, and in doing so you start an unbearable cycle of poking - like two kids in the back of a car- until one of you finally takes the initiative to realise what's going on and puts a stop to this pointless click-happy practice.


Enough Poking.

Enough writing.

I think it's time for me to retire to bed. Before I do I'm just going to pop on Facebook to make sure everyone I know is aware that I am sleeping.



Fiona Egglestone said...

This is brilliant - so true!

Lynne said...

And yet you'll still use both mediums to pick up women...

Jessi said...

I am a victim of the "poke". He wouldn't stop and I tried so hard to prevent him from doing it again! He just kept poking and poking. Finally, I just stopped poking back...we've never discussed the abrupt end and I hope I never get porked, i mean poked again.

Miss Lixx.