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Demanding Your Immediate Attention - For Something Completely Worthless

Yes, many people have heard that Facebook’s Poke app looks strikingly similar to one built by a company that declined to be acquired by them.  That’s an entirely different topic than what I am touching on today.

The brilliance of SMS and email is that they aren’t fleeting.

I’m pretty young but my elders have from time-to-time waxed nostalgic (or complained) about waiting by a phone for a highly anticipated phone call-a significant other, business associate, etc.  Answering machines only somewhat diminished the need to be nearby since there was no way of knowing if you had missed a call when you weren’t at home.

Facebook’s Poke app eschews the positives of modern communications systems and forces us to look at a message, video, or image quickly before it “self-destructs.”  The app forces immediacy on us and what is even worse than this element is something that should be glaringly obvious:

The content of the poke IS NOT IMPORTANT.

It simply cannot be important.  Why?  Well, who in their right mind would send an important message with the very possible chance that the recipient will not see it?  That would be idiotic.

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This is terrible.  It means Facebook (and the user Poking you) is pushing you to look at something of little importance immediately upon receiving the message.  They want you to drop what you are doing to look at a picture of a cat making a derpy face.  

They’ve changed the poke from a suggestive (playful? sexual?) action to an(other?) irritating online behavior lacking of any particular meaning.