A Bittersweet Goodbye to Google Reader
The online girlfriend that dumped me
There’s no other way to put it— when Google announced it was shutting down Google Reader, it felt like I’d been dumped. And now that it’s only a few days until the bitter end, I can’t help but feel the relationship similarities piling up. It’s those days after you’ve been dumped, where you know you shouldn’t look up your ex, you shouldn’t check in to see how they’re doing, but you just can’t help it. You push yourself to spend time with someone else, but it feels unfamiliar, and when no one’s watching to say you should know better you do it anyway.
Since I bumped into Google Reader so fortuitously nearly 5 years ago, I have been more committed to it than any other (website) before, or likely after. Every morning I’ve woken up and said hello to it first. In fact, I’ve spent more time with Google Reader than pretty much anything or anyone in my life since we partnered up. According to Google Reader:
Our anniversary is December 5th 2008. Since then we’ve basically spent 1659 uninterrupted days together where I’ve viewed 299,950 articles.
If I spent an hour a day browsing 180 articles a day on average, it’s at least 70 complete days of my life. But according to our date calendar, I said good morning to Google Reader when I woke up at 7AM and said goodnight to it at 1AM as I went to sleep, so probably many more.
I’ve come to rely on Google Reader for inspiration, motivation, education, news and sustenance. And for a long time, I couldn’t imagine life without it. But now that Google Reader’s dumped me (does it hurt more or less that it wasn’t for someone or something better?), what’s next?
Actually, it’s starting to seem fun and exciting to be a single reader again. I’m getting more attention. Other Readers are flirting with me.
Feedly, Digg, NewsBlur, Feedbin, Flipboard to name a few. The new Readers on the market seem to be trying harder, they seem to want me more. They’re wearing new colors, sporting new styles, have new tricks that Google Reader never knew. Is it possible I was playing it safe? Was I too comfortable with Google Reader for too long? Was it taking me for granted? Now that I’m date reading around, it sure feels like it.
One thing’s for sure. If Google Reader doesn’t appreciate me, I’ll find someone who does. With the amount of love and attention I gave it, I deserve better. And soon I won’t even remember the one that dumped me, no matter how disruptive to my life it was, or how much it hurt.