I know we live in a world that is trying to be more and more Gender Neutral. And, I have no qualm in saying that it should be. Many writers and people whose words matter have started to use ‘She’ instead of ‘He’ in their common parlance. In fact, if you have actually understood the meaning of the word Feminism (and not just from a high-level but the actual intention), you would know that there is a need for this -ism because the world is titled in an obvious direction (The World is not straight! Self-pat on the pun. Tilted as in ~23.5°. Bad one!). However, many people get confused and often up-in-arms about why it is called Feminism and not Human-ism or Egalitarianism or whatever your nearest Synonyms Thesaurus can suggest.
I guess some confusion is understandable. Everyone can be confused. Like my Google Mini and FireStick’s Alexa, although they claim to be the smartest and all, are confused themselves as to where they should be. They speak in a feminine voice but when I ask whether they are female, they decline and try to stay neutral. (I know how to change default voice.) Obviously, we have very primitive AI tools at our disposal at the moment. Even if they appear to be amazing, they are closer to being Bluetooth powered Voice-Enabled tools than being actual AI/ML breakthrough.
If you wake me up at 3AM in the night and ask me do I love Google? My answer would be, without flinching an eye, YES, Of course I love Google. Also, you should not wake me up at 3AM. But coming back to the topic at hand, I indeed love Google and its products. Till few days back, I would have said:
My main email is Gmail. Search = Google.com. I use Chrome on all my devices. I keep all my notes in Keep. Me and Google Calendar are inseparable. When I get reminded of a thing called ‘my health and its importance’ from time to time, Google Fit is my Fitness app. Google Documents are life savers. Maps, please don’t even get me started. Photos, Drive, I could go on and on and on… I ♥ Google.
But not anymore. Now, I am in the process to get my Internet life:
My main email is still Gmail. Search = Google.com DuckDuckGo.com. I use Chrome on all my devices on my laptop with DuckDuckGo as the search. On my mobile, I use Firefox Focus browser which instantly deletes history so it becomes difficult to log in to Facebook and Twitter. Did I tell you that I have uninstalled Twitter & unfollowed everyone on Facebook. Moreover, I have enabled 2 Factor Authentication to login to social media sites. That means, I have made logging in to these sites difficult. Firefox Focus is super at erasing history and thereby going to social media sites very tiresome! I keep all my notes in Keep Evernote and recently been using Wunderlist for tasks and Habit for tracking how am I keeping at my resolutions. Also, thinking of going even more analog with BuJo (I cannot promise this yet though. We shall come back to it after a couple of months). Me and Google Calendar are still inseparable. Occasionally, when I am reminded of health and its importance, Google Fit is was my Fitness app. Now, there is not any app as there’s no fitness also. Point is that you can use Endomondo, Strava, Nike+, Runtastic, etc. Google Documents are still life savers. Maps, that is probably the best application ever. Why not use Dropbox more?
If you have not paid attention to the above paragraph, specially the search part, check again. Who would have thought that life can still go on without using Google search? But it is possible, kids! So, what made that happen?
I have this one huge bone to pick with Google. Bloody, AI part of Google. Google Now (or your Siri, or your Alexa). It had become as annoying to me as AADHAR linkage to everything you have. All your search history, bookmarks, calendar events, contact list, email and whatnot gets fed to it and it provides you assistance and notifications. This is the part I chose to differ with. I think, 2017 is still a bit early to do this much for you. May be a decade later, when people will totally stop using their brain, then this much assistance could be of use.
I had written in past about ways to dumb down the smartphone in which I told about the procedure to make your life simpler with shutting off all your notifications, sounds and vibrations from all the apps which you think are not necessary. This post is about ways to ungoogle your life. There are several great applications and services which still work as good as your Google apps. Just unlinking them to the main Google account giving less feed to Google Assistance will make it less nosey and life will improve. I suggest, clean your browsing data on Google from Day 1, clean up your full web-activity and start afresh.
And, I still ♥ Google but I have blocked everything Google uses to track me. Even if it still tracks (of course it tracks), it doesn’t remind me of it. Give Ungoogling a try.