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The Facebook Social Reader is Annoying!

Facebook is fun.

I am not paranoid about the whole privacy thing. I enjoy FB. I use it to stay in touch with friends and family, and to indulge in some activism. And very importantly as a source of info too – How else would I know how much weight Kareena has put on and what is AshAbhi’s baby’s name. And earlier on, it was FB that got me introduced to Kolaveri Di and Aaloo Anday. And on a more profound note, it’s great to get to see the features from the Met Museum of Art, NYC’s site, and also to learn important stuff from Sarah Joseph and Muslim Matters. And for learning about great leaps into the field of social entrepreneurship and humanitarian work.

So FB’s all good – except a few REALLY irritating things.

And recently, my pet fb peeve has become the Social Reader.

Sure, you can set up the privacy settings otherwise, so that “only me” can see what me is reading. But then, what’s the whole point of it?

And what if I do not set the privacy settings privately enough?

See, what we read gives away so much about us. And gives others who may be “faarigh” and “waila” (free), when you read something, a chance to dissect and psych-analyze and read into your life and speculate. “Oh, so she was reading ’10 signs of depression’. I always knew she had issues”. Or “Oh, he read ‘hate your boss, but show it not’. May be I should tell our boss”. Or “Oh, she has been reading ‘top tourist destinations’. She is planning a trip”. Or “Oh, he read ‘how to concentrate better in Namaaz’. He is becoming a fundo!”.

And these are really innocent examples. There can be more gory details and many closets opened up with this social reading business.

Isn’t it supposed to be private what I read at bedtime?

Why should this app post on my behalf, including articles I read, people I liked and more?

Neither do I wanna know when my girl friend read “The 101 of getting rid of cellulite & stretch marks” or when a male friend read “How to face rejection from the woman in your life”. It is too darn personal.

So Social Reader, thank you but no thank you. I am too old-fashioned for you. I’d rather go and google a topic or go visit the NY Times or Huff Post sites myself.


About FarahnazZahidi

Journalist, writer, Communications practitioner, teacher, media trainer | Literature | Gender Parity | Peace | Islam | Very Desi | Chaai, not coffee.

4 responses »

  1. Only the other day I had a detailed discussion about the social reader. I could not get over with a sense of disgust about why is it that I need to tell the world what I am reading. Such a pretentious thing to do. I have generally started harbouring some resentment for facebook and looking for an opportunity to do away with my account. It just doesn’t seem to mean a lot anymore!

  2. True that!

  3. you are so right. the other day, i saw an elder male relative of mine had “read” an article along the lines of Why Women Want Sex or something on my newsfeed… i didn’t think much of it, until… horror of horrors… a few hours later, i find that my DAD, who is new to Facebook and the online world in general, clicked that same link out of curiosity and it popped up on everyone’s newsfeeds… everyone (of his age group) was commenting… it was soooo embarrassing!!!!

  4. Life is soooo much better ever since I’ve quit using FB. There’s so much more time for constructive things! Everything about it used to give me the creeps…like everything going public! I’m happier living a quite life 🙂


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