De-Googlizing Life, Part I

Originally published on Objectis.

Trying to reduce the influence of Google in modern Internet living is tricky, if not darn near impossible, but I am going try it.

As I mentioned yesterday, I am trying to take as strong a stand as I can after Google decided to destroy Reader.  It’s trickier than I thought! I have been using a suite of Google services, and I can’t up and leave. But it starts in pieces. Currently I am migrating all of my old Gmail (which I’ve had for years) to Zoho Mail.

This leaves me pause. What about chat? What about Adsense? The Google phone number?

To someone else, this would like like a host of reasons to stay with Google; to me, it just looks like proof of how dependent I’ve become.

It all started with a Blogger account, just a few months shy of a decade ago. Back then, Google was considered a sort of hacker paradise. They introduced, and innovated, and made technology different and accessible. Piece by piece, convenience by convenience. Then one day I was searching on Google. Browsing on Google. Emailing on Google. Blogging on Google. Putting my documents on Google. Making my PHONE CALLS on Google.

As I said yesterday, when Google Reader was given the axe, I had to wonder why. RSS is a technology Google has made good use of over the years.


Probably the easiest part of De-Googlizing was the browser. Since Chrome has been irritating me more and more in terms of how much information it wants to hold, how much more memory it eats up, and since the default browser in Xubuntu is Firefox, it was really not hard to say goodbye. I went with Opera long ago, but I couldn’t stand it. I will probably stay with either Firefox or Seamonkey.


Probably the hardest part of this change is my email. I’ve had my email for just about 10 years with Gmail. It stings to do. I actually feel guilty about it. It’s almost the principle of the thing.

Leaving, however, made the process easier. See, once I decided that I was leaving Gmail and downloaded all my files to my new email, weird things started happening.

Gmail stopped working - Firefox

Besides the lovely message above when I try to verify Gmail is actually forwarding email, I found that my email forwarding had to be set four times before it actually started forwarding. I’m almost suspicious that the system has an algorithm for determining if someone is leaving (I can’t imagine programming a rule for “POP download” and then “forwarding” would be that difficult). Maybe I’m paranoid, but how else can I explain that Gmail which worked fine in Firefox before I switched emails suddenly stopped working?

That’s enough for today, more some other time.