Mindful Monday – June 13, 2022 Edition: DeGoogling

Getting google out of my life is an ongoing effort that I’ve been working on for several years. Though anyone who uses the internet may never be totally free of its tentacles when I have a choice, I choose not-google. As I read a recent post by my friend Randal I was inspired and challenged to do something similar here for comparison, and also to create further discussion of an ever more popular subject. So, using his most-excellent list as a starting place and guide, here we go!

Email: I’ve never used gmail, so I’m ahead of the game here. (I use the web-based email function provided by my host server.)

Calendar: Ditto – don’t use any calendar as I have nothing I need to keep track of.

Search: I’ve used searx and/or neeva for searching with great success; I especially like the latter. But there are LOTS of them out there worthy of mention. Maybe in another post.

Browser: I like a Chromium-based browser; Vivaldi is my browser of choice for many reasons. I avoid Chrome totally.

Translation: I have used DeepL almost exclusively in the past but since Vivaldi put a translator in their browser I’ve been using that one.

Drive/Photos: I have used these heavily over the years. Currently I’m setting up Nextcloud, on my own host server, to replace them both.

Videos/Vlogs: I removed my vlogs from YouTube a couple of years ago and now post them to several sources (Rumble, GabTV, SaviorConnect, and here), of which GabTV is the most popular and does, in fact, compare to YT in terms of views. I also watch videos at these sites and others, though I have my favorites on YouTube which I watch anonymously; I like Invidious but there are multiple other front-ends available.

Maps: Open Street Map is the only map app on my phone these days! I will use MapQuest if I have to, but the amount of screen space taken up by ads is ridiculous, making it almost unusable.

Apps: I use FDroid, APKPure, or Aurora for apps instead of Google Play. (I’d always rather side-load my apps anyway.)

And here is where I will deviate from Randal’s list to share some of my other de-googling thoughts:

Voice: I used Google Voice as my texting/voice app for YEARS. For now I am back to using my phone’s actual functions, but also have subscribed to TextFree as an alternative. This month I need to port my GV number somewhere or I will lose it, however, and I’m not convinced that Textfree is The One.

Android: This is the toughest one and it has the biggest learning curve, and the biggest risk. I’d rather simply change to a de-googled or linux-based phone but that’s not in the budget. But it is almost maybe the most important. So I’m struggling.

Finally, not a google-specific topic necessarily, but on a related note are the centralized behemoth social media platforms. I stopped using anything from google several years ago; ditto Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Though I have lost 95% of my “friends” (or so I thought they were) through this change, these sites are damaging to us in SO many ways. I am now happily settled into federated sites (such as Mastodon and Pixelfed), Gab.com, and Savior Connect.

If I missed anything, let me know! And Randal, thanks for the great post that started this discussion! I truly hope that more people will also join in!

#de-googling

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