The fall of social reading

Marc Sanchez May 8, 2012

I can barely get through a morning’s-worth of Facebook updates without clicking on one telling me I should really read this or that article. Cool, I think. I trust you and that headline looks interesting. But instead of clicking through to the article, I’m greeted with a request to install a Facebook app – a social reader – that will allow me to read the article (and gain access to data from my account). Phooey! According to Buzzfeed, a lot of other people are living in Camp Phooey along with me. “Social Readers always seemed a little too share-y, even for Facebook; they felt more like the kind of cold, descriptive, invisible and yet mandatory services we’re used to seeing from Google rather than genuinely new and useful tools for spreading information. And they feel, I don’t know, kind of broken right now?”

That’s the crux of it, really – these things share whether I want to share what I’ve read with others or not. Just because I read a paragraph or two about the escapades of Lindsay Lohan doesn’t mean I endorse the article. In fact, I probably want to keep my public radio membership in good standing; therefore, I am not even allowed to read such articles. I mean, I loved Mean Girls, but can you imagine.

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