• aylasita

The Unthinkable: Getting out of Google Pt. 1

Updated: Feb 15, 2021

K. I'm just going to put it out there, in the universe, that I would like to start getting my private life out of social media.

Yes, irony is fun, and I'm also posting this on social media, lol. But making declarations to friends and family is also fun and has been found to be very effective...

It seems insidious (for me anyway), the slowly creeping tendrils of Google and Facebook... though I very much enjoy their services. It's just making me (personally) uncomfortable, giving away so much for so little. Yes, I have loved the shizzle out of their "free" services over the years. I can honestly say they extremely improved my life (I'm thinking Google search engine for my thirsty curiosity and keeping in touch with loved ones around the world on Facebook).

But it's gotten weird, and I suddenly found I'm living way too much in the 2D world, with these strange compulsions to "check things", that I never had before. And I'm realizing, shit, someone could know literally almost *everything there is to know about me* by hacking/stalking me online, and I think I am not ok with that anymore. Again I'm just ranting away here about my own personal experiences, not judging anybody (except maybe the CEOs). But it is a fact that these mega-companies spend billions of dollars of research on addiction and dopamine crowd-pleasers, so none of it is by accident. Also I'm eternally thankful this shit wasn't around when I was a kid, there is no question that social media is harmful to youth.

If there's anything to be learned by all the global goings-on lately, it's that we have to be sustainable, support local, and have a strong community to survive, right? So it really bothers me that at the base of our (very convenient, not gonna lie) world, we have these mega corporations buying everything up... for what? Why did Facebook have to buy Instagram and WhatsApp? Buying all of the competition is not good community, it's just greed. There's absolutely no reason to own everything.*

*Except maybe so people like Google CEO Sundar Pichai could take home $470 million in 2018 instead of the measly $200 million he took home in 2016 (poor guy).

Or Rupert Murdoch, for example, owning all the important shit he does (he basically owns the news) - I can hear capitalists (note: I am a capitalist) saying "It's our right to own whatever the fuck we want"... well, yeah, agreed, but maybe not when it comes to the personal data of billions of people, and the main news source of billions of people, maybe it should be a little different, then, have some different rules at least, a cap in place to keep someone from dominating, and to keep the gene pool varied. What if Facebook went militant, for example? Sounds silly, is silly. But the point is that it's possible, and they have enough dirt to blackmail at least 1/3 of the 8 billion people in this world.

People used to freak out about the idea of their phones being tapped. Now everything we do is recorded and no one bats an eye (well, maybe I am batting an eye). There definitely has to be a trade for "free" services, I agree. I would rather pay money, though, which is what I'm looking at if I choose to move away from the "free" services of Facebook and Google and support smaller companies.

Anyway, opinion piece of the day... There are obviously people who use these services sparingly and responsibly, and there are lots of wonderful things about Facebook and Google that can raise our quality of life, I'm just talking about the serious/negative stuff, and the weirdness of the mega-corporation world we find ourselves in. It's unprecedented territory, honestly. What do you think?

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Aloha, my name is Jasmine.

I'm a freelance writer, editor, and content creator based out of Maui, Hawai'i, USA.

I travel the world, write, take photos, surf, and hike!