I did it. I broke free from Google’s web monopoly.
I use the iPhone for my mobile device; the iPad as my computer; Safari—of course—my default browser. I search on DuckDuckGo (which also allows me to avoid the dreaded AMP versions of sites). iCloud hosts all my files, calendars, and email; I use iWork apps to create and edit documents. I follow YouTubers via social media. I rarely use map services.
I’ve previously used Gmail from 2005, while still in beta, till I started hosting my own email a few years ago with my first name change. I haven’t been a serious Microsoft Office user since Google Docs emerged in 2007, and didn’t experience ribbon shock till much later.
Privacy wasn’t a factor—“data mining” allowed for Google to better tailor their services for me. Android allowed me to utilize a phone as I needed. Google Drive provides more space for free. YouTube is free to watch. Everyone and their grandma either has or had Gmail at some point. I’m browser-agnostic; whatever’s in front of me, I use. Many third-party apps still probably utilize Google services to track me.
Google as a search engine…meh. I didn’t care for hyper-specific results tailored to me and my biases. I hated how AMP “optimization” couldn’t be turned off—those pages half the time wouldn’t render correctly, and I’d have to click on that link so I could leave comments, or just be able to use the mobile site. Chrome is just a memory hog. Too many ads.
I cancelled Google because of the ads. Not privacy concerns—because of fatigue from hyperconsumerism. Yes, their business model means serving ads. I don’t care; it’s a market economy, and allows me freedom of choice. I want to enjoy things without being constantly bombarded with external pressures to buy, buy, buy.
I could have rooted, but forgo using banking and wallet services, or installed an adblocking VPN, but have my phone seriously slow down.
Plus, this is something I have done before. It’s always fun seeing people’s reactions when I tell them I’ve forgone their monopoly on the web. I’m just rebellious, I guess.