Free from Google.

I did it. I broke free from Google’s web monopoly.

I replaced one ecosystem with another. Not for privacy. Because ads.

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.

Bye, bye, bye Google.

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.

Author: Charlie

I live my life trying to be your everyday guy. Drink—maybe too much?—coffee. Watch hockey. Work to pay the bills. The truth is, there’s one major aspect of me that separates me from most men: I am a transgender man. I am three years post-op, and have never been happier with both my body and my life.

3 thoughts

  1. It is tough but not impossible to break away from Google’s ecosystem. But then you will be a minority as Google basically has the rest of us cornered.


  2. That wonderful. I have an iPad and I am a bit Apple biased (as I do have shares in Apple). I have been using Apple for almost 2 decades and I just can’t see myself using anything else (my personal bias). Browser: I don’t care either. I alternate between chrome and safari. My personal thoughts tend to be in iCloud and not google drive.

    I love my iPad and I am so glad I purchased it. Did you also get an apple pencil with yours?


    1. Apple Pencil, Smart Keyboard, and Magic Mouse after cursor support was finally added. I wanted that Mouse in particular as it charged via lightning cable and not via batteries or USB.

      Liked by 1 person

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