What is an Internet “bump”?

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Vibration can be one of the most annoying practices on the Internet. If you’ve ever seen a person spam on a post for no apparent reason, here’s why and what it’s trying to communicate.

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On the Internet, “jabs” are a post or comment by a person for the sole purpose of increasing the clarity of the underlying message. It used to be a staple on message boards but is now commonly found in group threads, direct messages, and posts on social media platforms like Facebook and Reddit.

A less common colloquial definition of bump is “dance or go to music”. So, for example, you might tell your friend that the song “makes you crash.” Alternatively, the bump can refer to the song itself, as in “This song is a bump!”

Vibration Origin

The practice of “hubs” has a very clear origin: message boards. These forum sites were very popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s, as many communities formed around common interests. During this time, there was a forum for just about everything: programming, vinyl recordsParenting and more. New members often get frustrated with the lack of responses to their posts and “bounce” the topic to increase visibility.

The first definition of “bump” on urban dictionary It was released in January 2003, making it one of the oldest entries among the slang we’ve covered. It reads, “In message board terminology, to move a post to the top of the forum with a pointless response.”

Eventually, the shake will make its way to Facebook groups, which were previously sorted chronologically. Bumping was very common in community groups, where people could buy and sell goods to each other. However, changes to Facebook’s algorithm have neutralized the bumps’ ability to make posts more visible.

Related: 10 Facebook Marketplace scams to watch out for

Topics and sorting

One of the biggest reasons for the “pitfalls” is the way the forums were organized in the early 2000s.

Historically, most message boards divide discussion topics into threads made up of posts from different users. By default, the forums are sorted by topics with the most recent posts. During these early days, users could get their threads to the top of the forum by adding a bump. Members did this to highlight their discussions, revive old or dead threads, and prompt people to answer their questions.

The raised posts weren’t necessarily “bumps” and nothing else. Many were pointless responses, uninteresting news, or repeating points made earlier in the thread. Some moderators in the forum were against the practice of vibrations. Unwarranted bumping was against the rules and was a potentially outlawed offense in many societies.

However, chronological sorting has largely disappeared. Instead, social media platforms are now using Arithmetic formulas Based on user interaction and content to select your social feed or rank group posts. Other platforms like Reddit are usingKarmawhich allows users to promote high-quality content.

Because of these changes, shocking posts largely don’t work anymore – although people continue to do so. For example, if you scroll through a group focused on buying and selling on Facebook, you might notice some sales listings with dozens of bumps but no buyers.

Related: What is Reddit Karma and how do I get it?

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However, “bump” has taken on a new life in an era focused on messaging. Instead of appearing on message boards and Facebook MarketYou can find it in private messages and group chats between friends and family.

In this usage, the word “bump” is synonymous with “reminder”. For example, if your friend sent you a question a few days ago and you didn’t respond, he might send you a ‘bump’. This can also appear in group threads. For example, if one of your friends is driving a trip with a large group, he may “crash” with the flight information a few days before the trip.

You can also use this even when you don’t have a previous message to bump into. For example, if you had a personal conversation between you and your friend where he agreed to send you some documents, you can send him a message “bump on these documents” as an informal reminder.

Vibration of manners

If you are considering publishing your post on a social network such as Facebook, we recommend that you do not publish it. Not only is bumping useless due to the default sorting systems of most websites, but it can be annoying and needy for many users. Some users may avoid posts with a lot of useless bumps and comments.

Inviting your friend to attend an event or some documents that they need to fill out is perfectly acceptable. However, you should probably avoid using this in your professional emails because some people find messages like “send this to the top of your inbox” annoying. Alternatively, you can use phrases like “I’d like to follow this up” or “I just wanted to check in,” which mean the same thing.

Interested in some of the other slang terms that came from message boards? Then check out our cut on OPAnd the LTTPAnd the ITT To learn about this part of Internet history.

Related: What does “ITT” mean, and how do you use it?