May 6, 2008
Don't start a poke war with me because I'll win.
I'm assuming that most of you have at the very least heard of facebook, but there are probably a few people who are unfamiliar with the concept of poking, so I'm going to explain it. You facebook pros can skip ahead to the next paragraph. When you're on facebook, looking at someone else's profile, you have the option of poking them. If you poke them, next time they log in, they'll have a little message saying that you poked them. They then have the option of poking you back or removing the poke. What is poking for? It's basically a way of getting someone's attention without having to go to the trouble of stringing a few words together. I was going to do a post about how poking is possibly the lowest form of human communication, one rung below grunting and pointing, but I'll save that for another day.
I myself, have been poked by four people. One was an old friend looking to get back in touch. Another was a woman I didn't know who I'm fairly certain thought I was cute. (I'm relatively sure that this is its main use, but what do I know.) The third was someone who I think just didn't know what poking was. And the fourth was my poke war rival.
The concept of a poke war had never occurred to me when all this started. When my rival poked me for the first time, I poked him back and thought that would be the end of it. He quickly poked me right back again and I did the same back to him. I soon realized that this was going to be an ongoing thing and was pretty sure I was going to win. I pride myself on being able to do things I don't enjoy for long periods of time. There was no way I'd get tired of this before he did.
The thing about poking is you can't just flood somebody with pokes over and over again. You have to wait for them to remove your poke or to poke you back before you can send them another one. So the real trick of a poke war is trying to poke someone back as quickly as you can after they poke you.
A month or two went by and my rival showed no sign of stopping and I was at the end of my rope. There's only so much poking a guy can take. There was almost no point in poking him, because his return poke would appear seemingly instantly. I wasn't going to win this through sheer force of will. I was going to have to cheat.
Through a little googling, I found a script that automatically pokes people by pretending to be a web browser, logging into your account, and then poking whoever's poked you. It didn't actually work in its current state, but with a little bit of tweaking, I got it to run and changed it to fit my specific needs. Then, I set up a separate mail address to receive all my facebook email. Every time the account got an email telling me my rival had poked me, it would poke him right back. Every time it got an email from facebook unrelated to pokes, it forwarded it on to me. I was able to wage a poke war without even having to think about it.
A few days ago I checked in to see how it was all going. It had been ten days since I had last received a poke from my rival. The war was over. But it was such an empty victory. And not because I had cheated, although that was part of it. I expected some fanfare. A formal surrender. Something. But really, all I ended up with was a facebook account that wasn't even worth logging into. What's the point now that it's all over? I haven't told him it was a computer poking him all those times and not me. I don't think I will. It seems mean somehow. Poke war is hell.
Posted by Will at May 6, 2008 1:48 AM
i remember the good ol' days when you were just my enemyster and that was that.
Posted by: sumoh at June 4, 2008 9:23 PM
Those were the days.
Posted by: Will at June 5, 2008 3:15 AM