THE BLOG

An Earworm Nightmare Waiting to Happen

05/06/2014 13:17 BST | Updated 04/08/2014 10:59 BST

The new listening-in feature announced by Facebook alarms me, not because of any privacy concerns but solely as it will make my experience even more excruciating than it already is. I've been using Facebook for quite a few years now. Most of it saddens me in truth. Many of my online 'friends' appear to employ little in the way of restraint or discernment when it comes to the stuff they'll happily share with the rest of the world. At times I despair. At other times I want to smash the device I'm viewing it on.

The thing is, I don't care about your cat. I don't find it cute. I don't find other stuff about cats cute either. I don't really want to know what you've had for dinner either. I also don't want to know that you miss your poor old Mum and I really don't want to know about the fact that you've got a sore throat.

You see, to my mind some things you just don't want to know. Some of my so-called friends are clearly interested in a whole heap of nonsense that I'd rather be protected from. It saddens, sickens and stresses me in equal measures. Less is more, they say. And when it comes to Facebook, I couldn't agree more.

So what's my issue with the feature they're talking about over on the BBC website, here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-27517817

The idea is that a devilish little piece of code will enable Facebook to hear what you're listening to or watching on TV while you post an update via your android or iOS device. It will then give the user the option to add that information to their status update. So what's the issue? Earworms, they're the issue.

You know when you get a song that you absolutely despise in your head and can't shift it? Well that's my worry. I only have to read the title of such a song for it to become embedded in my consciousness. I don't have to hear it for the effect to take place; just reading the words is enough. I see 'I Just Called to Say I Love You' written down and I know I'm going to have possibly the worst song Stevie Wonder ever released going round and round in my head for, at best, a couple of hours and at worst the whole day.

So I fear the advent of this 'enhancement' to my Facebook experience. It's going to reduce even further the respect that I have for some people and could well lead to a mass cull of even more friends.

Interested in the musings of a Facebook misanthrope? Well, you might want to have a shufti at this then: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hugs-hearts-histrionics-Kieron-Hayes-ebook/dp/B00JV3CDOS/ref=pd_rhf_pe_p_t_1_F546