So Long Google Reader, and Thanks for the Memories

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Austin Considine, photos by Derek Mead

Believe it or not, this picture was taken just a few weeks ago. We both thought it was, like, really beautiful. Oh, bitter irony! How could I have known leaving was on her mind?

Not even two days after Google announced it would kill Google Reader, its RSS feed aggregator, there’s very little left unsaid. The Daily Beast called it “soul-destroying,” which it is. Hitler weighed in, too.

All I can say is I’ll miss you, dear Google Reader. I don’t know how I could have been a journalist these last few years without you. I may have been forced to find my own scoops by leaving my desk or picking up a phone.

As with the end of any relationship, whether by death or by break-up, I’ve already begun passing through the Kübler-Ross grieving process—otherwise known as “the five stages.” I experienced denial. (No way, this is just another internet-driven hoax, like when Boo, my favorite internet dog “died.” Maybe it's Sam Biddle’s fault.) Anger (Damn you, Google for giving and taking away so imperiously.) Bargaining (Maybe if I start a petition I can get Google to put off killing Reader for at least a little while.) Depression (Never mind, fuck it. I hate my life and I’m quitting journalism.)

And that’s where I’ve stayed. I don’t think I’ll reach the acceptance stage for a while.

New York is a hard place to make a relationship work. But Google Reader and I really helped each other out. We both agreed it was a lot easier when you had someone you could depend upon. And we never tired of that magnificent skyline.

Life with Google Reader just felt so free and easy sometimes, the way you always hear love is supposed to make you feel. Haha, sometimes she really brought out the little kid in me, like when we hung out on this jungle gym shaped like a train. Choo choo!

Given the benefit of hindsight, I guess it’s good we never got that puppy.

Riding bikes around Williamsburg together was one of our favorite things to do. I mean, first of all, it's good exercise, and we both loved Brooklyn—always so much to do!

I think this was the trip when we discovered that quinoa food truck.      

A good relationship teaches you a lot of things…

For instance, I don’t think I’d ever even heard of kale before Google Reader and I got together, let alone black and red kale.

Buying organic is very important.

Me: I bought this cupcake for both of us. It’s not cheating on your diet if you didn’t buy it, right?

Google Reader: Hmmm. It does look delicious.

Me: It is, try it!

Google Reader: Ok, just this once. But I swear sometimes just a hyperlink about a cupcake makes me gain five pounds.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I already knew things were over. I just didn’t want to admit it.

 I hoped maybe with a few drinks we could relax a little, maybe remember some of the reasons we fell in love again.

I had a few too many. Google Reader was not impressed.

This was an anxious time for us. It was just after the 2011 redesign and we thought our little unit might be expanding. I’m not sure the relationship ever really recovered when it didn’t.

Though bittersweet, I know I must remember all the good times we shared. (There were so many!) Sure we had our ups and downs. The redesign thing was a tough time for our relationship. We struggled to move forward in a way that meaningful to both of us. But we made it through. For a while.

But for every bump in the road, there were times when I could scarcely tell my own brain from yours. That sounds weird, but it wasn't. It just felt natural.  

The riverside was one of our favorite places to re-connect when life got a little stressful. There was good 4G coverage there, and I had my phone enabled for wi-fi tethering. 

Soon all I’ll have left of the relationship we shared are these images, these facsimiles of our us. So long, baby. Thanks for all the memory. 

Thanks to Kelly Bourdet for style assistance and Dan Meyer for equipment help.

Topics: goodbye sweet love, reader, photos, google, RIP

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