Facebook’s Social Reader – Who Cares?

Donny Soni takes a critical look at the latest Facebook fad

application Facebook independant Rihanna Social reader The Guardian Washington Post

There used to be a time when all we could see on our Facebook news feeds were awful status updates about last night and the horrendous photos that we were tagged in.


Now, there is a new element to add to the embarrassment that is our Facebook profile: the articles we read. I remember in the beginning of the “social reader” phenomenon where Facebook would casually suggest articles for me to read that my friends had been reading.


I nonchalantly clicked on the link, Facebook asks if the application can have access, I’m not too fussed so I clicked yes. Little did I know that within a few weeks, every little link I clicked would show up on my Timeline.


Now every time I get tempted by Rihanna’s holiday snaps or what Snooki looks like without makeup, all of my friends get notified and it shows up on my profile. I mean, I guess you could blame me for clicking on the articles in the first place but I can’t help how tempting pop culture is to me! Why can’t Facebook alert everyone when I do something intellectual? What about when I read an article on The Economist, why can’t it make me seem smart for once?


Another pet peeve of mine with this new social reader application is the fact that all these old articles are read and suddenly they are relevant again. I remember reading an article about the sudden rise of tattoos and piercings in Cheltenham, when I saw that the article dated back to April of 1999, I thought to myself “Who cares?!”. Apparently four of my friends who liked the article care enough for me to show up on my news feed.


Now I know I am encouraging this new social reader phenomena by succumbing to the enticing articles that the The Guardian produces but my solution is to slowly ween myself off this process. If I see an interesting article title these days, I Google it instead. I’m not against this new application, hell, if it encourages our generation to read more news then I’m all for it but all I’m saying is that I resent how dim it makes me look.


Although this isn’t a global issue or life-changing, it is what I like to call a first world problem. It grinds my gears. I’m already annoyed enough by what my peers have to post about their daily existence, having to see some of the trivialities we read puts me off even more. I guess all I can hope for is this new craze will die out eventually, just like Farmville and Mafia Wars did.