For the last few years I have been on a search or a quest to remove Google services from my life. This year I really put in the effort and have been able to minimize my Google exposure.
Why would I go down this path?
Most of the service are free and usually are the best tools on the internet.
The very first thought in response to that question is that Google is an Ad company first, the tools they release are to get as much telemetry data on you as possible to sell to marketers for "targeted ads". While that does produce some fantastic applications, knowing that all interactions within the ecosystem are recorded for future ad revenue generation just sits in the wrong place in my mind.
So why don't you buy services from Google to remove ads?
Google Buzz, Google Reader, and more [found here on killedbygoogle] services being killed because ??? is the ultimate reason to not invest money or time in Google products. You may get use to a product or service and boom they remove it for reasons only known to them.
Finally, one last reason to limit my exposure to the Google ecosystem is that I do not want my personal life shut off because I tripped some random thing on their automated bot detectors. I've read stories of folks losing access to years and years of memories as their gmail or youtube accounts were locked out. I'd rather not bother with it.
So, while I do have a few Google accounts left, they are of minimal use. One for YouTube [love to find a way to not use that one] and the other that I remember setting up is locked due to being unable to delete as the 2fa phone is no longer available. If their support wasn't some automated bot loop, that one would be removed also.
If you would like to start down this journey, here is a good article to start with replacements:
Keep in mind it is doable, just hard.
Here's to hoping in the future we find a better way to fund the sites we love that doesn't involve giving up so much data on ourselves to pay for them to be online.
Purge and Flow