I used to work for Google. Once upon a time (in 2014), I rode the Googlebike through the Googleplex and drank the Googleaid. Times have changed in the last 5 years.
I used to run all my calendars through gCal, because by 2009 I needed a minimum of 8 different calendars to manage all the different views of my schedule that were needed for the 3 different a cappella groups I was actively singing with & helping coordinatate, plus the several different work teams/clients I was working with, and my own personal sharing needs. Times have changed even more in the last 10 years.
I also used to run all my email through Gmail, because by 2004 I was inundated by spam and Gmail had the best spam filters going. Times have changed a lot in the last 15 years.
Yesterday I deleted all my Google Calendars for both my main Google accounts. I also set the emails to autoforward to the email addresses running off of my webserver, providing an email update autoresponder for the email@example.com address that’s been printed on my music business card since 2006. My Gmail addresses are hereby depreciated.
As I write this, I’m downloading about 30GB of data that Google has collected on my behavior over the years. Including all the emails, all the YouTube videos, all the location data, all the ad data, all the everythings. It’s amazing what they’ve got, truly stunning in quantity and depth. I know that just because I delete stuff doesn’t mean that it is deleted from their servers. But I also think they’ve gotten enough info from me at this point. I don’t need to keep giving them more, do I? I mean, not for free at least.
I’m not a total hater, I’ll still use some Google services. I’m simply changing the defaults so that I’m aware of when I’m venturing into their territory. As I posted in None of The Socials, there’s not any Google Analytics (or any other tracking codes) watching your every move on this website. I don’t need to compromise your privacy just to learn a few things that I can probably guess anyhow.
And it’s nothing personal, I’m getting out from under Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, Facebook, Twitter, the whole lot of ‘em. I’m working toward a vision of 2020 that is free of their fetters. I choose to engage, or not. On a conscious and voluntary basis.
I think that’s how the world should work. Don’t you? Feel free to add some of your thoughts below in the comments.