15 Aug DeGooglefing Life
Google has become a juggernaut in our lives. Imagine 20 years ago if someone told you that one company would dominate internet search, communication, online media, and the largest operating system in the world. You’d probably say, Wow, how did Microsoft get around the 1998 Antitrust lawsuit? Turns out that this new contender was just getting started out of a garage in Silicon Valley.
As Google’s search dominance grew, the necessity for profit came to the forefront of the company. To capitalize the traffic, Google began documenting the profiles of its searchers and following them as they behaved throughout the day – Maps for travel, Gmail for email, with new services popping up monthly.
Now in 2017, Google is almost everywhere. As soon as you turn your computer on, Google Drive begins crawling you computer for changes to files. In order to use the internet you launch Google Chrome – the de facto web standard for modern browsers. You do your work in Google Docs, Sheets, and Presentations. You take a break on Youtube to watch a funny video your coworker sent to you on Gmail. After hours, you might venture off into the deeps of the internets to read or explore for exciting new bits of information in incognito mode but Google is there, watching.
As a conscious-tech user, there is something inherently scary about a company whose goal is to track customer behavior and sell that information. Of course, I signed up to be tracked when I agreed to their terms & conditions but that doesn’t mean that their business model isn’t inherently exploitative. Especially when it is nearly impossible to functionally use the internet without it.
So for now, I’ve begun by setting up my own VPS-based cloud server, migrated my email to a self-hosted domain, and am beginning to plan out the construction of a home media server. It’s been a fun process learning how to setup and work a server. I’m excited to share designs once I make it more cost-effective.