Stop Poking, Start Forking

Not to get emotional about this but where’s the romance? Where’s Mr Darcy striding through the meadow to ravish me…He’s hiding behind modern social media tools to protect himself from potential commitment/judgement/rejection/STD’s. It’s a little weird, let’s be honest, when a guy you had a brief ‘thing’ with out of the blue pokes you. What does this mean? Has he been fraped? What’s an appropriate time to reply? Do I poke back or write back? The poke, ladies and gents, is not your friend.

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There are two types of poke, Poke A: The Stranger, expect this poke after uploading a particularly successful selfie sesh. This poke can be dispatched by varying degrees of stranger; Stage yellow; the guy you met in your first year stats tutorial who you haven’t spoken to since, best to just pretend this never happened and continue avoiding eye contact in the library. Stage Amber; a male you share mutual friends with but have never had the displeasure of meeting, he’s a stage five creeper; ignore the poke, and any following friend requests. Stage Red; A full on Facebook lurker, no mutual friends, a previous private mail in which he compliments your ‘beautiful ocean eyes’, be liberal with the block button for this kiddo. The stranger poke has become somewhat of a modern cat call; best policy is to keep on walking, ain’t no one got time for potential paedophile pokes. Abort mission and review your privacy settings.

Poke B is a different beast altogether, oh Poke B, it reads like an awkward mash-up of previous conquests. Mental note, if he slept with you six months ago, then blanked you, and then poked you, he’s probably bad news. Not in a leather jacket and stubble bad boy way, in a he-has-issues and is just generally socially inept way. Don’t reply. If he wants to talk to you he’ll talk to you, with words. Then there’s the ‘accidental’ poke, boys think we aren’t wise to this clever little move. I’m gonna crack the code- he thinks you’re a wetser, but he’s too scared to initiate any actual conversation, online or in person, so the poke acts as a tester. If you poke back a poke war, eventual conversation and perhaps more may ensue. If you don’t he knows you aren’t interested and moves on with his wallflower lil’ life. There’s also the we-scored-last-night poke, this is wildly positive and follows the same reasoning as shy guy above, and if you poke this lad back you’re confirming your interest. Then of course, of course, the what-the-f**k poke, usually your former squeeze, he’s too scared to talk to you but he misses you… Don’t poke back; it’s a virtual index finger in the wrong direction.

In an age of tinder intangible romance I’m standing up to say; I’m bored with virtual flirtations, questionable likes and ambiguous pokes. If you want to talk to a girl then go talk to her, if it doesn’t work out move on, life is too short to spend questioning someone’s emoji reply.

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