Well, it is no surprise that the moment we reach home after a long day, we still want to be on Facebook and other umpteen social networking sites. Connecting with people you have lost touch with or finding new friends is rather interesting. There are, however, a lot of other features that we need to understand, because if something related to these features occurs in our posts, we might be at a complete loss regarding what is to be done. One of the common features is to poke someone. So, what does poking someone on Facebook mean, exactly? The answer is etched out in the paragraphs below.
Remember an important point, that any such feature on any social networking site is all about connecting people. So you don't have to get a panic attack if you encounter something of this sort.
In layman's terms, what does a poke (in literal meaning) mean? It means nudging someone hard on their back or hand with your finger in order to get attention. Similarly, a poke is a feature on Facebook that is used to get attention. The person who does this on this site you tries to get your attention to him so that both of you can start a conversation.
Of course, normally, you would not do this to a stranger. But if it happens accidentally, you do apologies and start chatting, don't you? It fulfills the same purpose on this site, though it does virtually. It simply means the other person know you are thinking about him or her or want to say 'hi' or 'hello', sans writing it on his or her wall.
Now, if you go a bit deeper, you may be able to observe that this process can be the inception of flirting. This can be a bit risky, as well as tricky. If it is mutual, it is alright and acceptable. Or, it might also mean that you just want to tell your friend that you are still alive and breathing and want to catch up. As mentioned earlier, it is just a way of saying 'hello', or to make friends with an acquaintance you've known since a while, etc. It may also be a way to tell someone, 'Hey, I have mailed you, just check that out!'.
What Actually Happens
When you first poke someone or vice versa, you will receive a notification. It shows on your wall as well as the other user's wall. Keep in mind that others will not know that this process has happened with you. So, your privacy is protected, as this interaction happens only between you and the other user. You can either respond or ignore.
How To Do It
To know how to poke someone, just follow these steps. Go to a friend's profile, find the poke button, and click. That's it! As simple as ABC. That person will get a notification, and then you can start chatting or interacting. Similarly, when someone does this with you, you will receive a notification as well. Just acknowledge it (or ignore it, it is your wish) and start chatting with your friend.
All in all, poking on Facebook can range from a simple 'hey, how ya doin buddy?' to 'let's hook up and have some fun'. Or it can even be a part of the poking war amongst friends to see who pokes the most and gets the most number of pokes! Therefore, it completely depends on the people involved. It is not a good or bad thing, it is just fun.