Google has created a Web of it's own by the sheer magnitude of it's online services. It's own "ecosystem" that locks you in and makes your life Hell if you try to abandon their product(s). This is why they created so many different services instead of just, say, search. They are expecting you to not change your habits. They are expecting you to just "keep it the same". Once someone makes an agreement with themself that they will do whatever is necessary to abandon that ecosystem, literally nothing can stop you. This article is to help you break free of the ball & chain of Google, find alternative apps and services to use that are open source, often times higher quality, and often times free.
Let's Start With The Basics
If you are using an Android phone right now; DON'T! There are other operating systems (OS's) that offer similar or better features that can be either installed on a phone that was once Android, or you can buy into an entirely different OS altogether with Apple's iPhone (iOS). For the former, there is Lineage OS and Oxygen OS (amongst others), and for the latter, there is iPhone's iOS which comes with no Google services pre-installed on the device. Apple offers it's own alternatives to what Google has to offer in almost everything except search (we will get to that later).
You are also going to want to avoid Chrome OS (Google's operating system for laptops and desktops). A safe alternative would be to buy either a Windows 10 PC, Mac/MacBook of some type, or any standard desktop and run a distribution of Linux (a Free and Open Source operating system) on it. You can even remove Chrome OS from a Chromebook and run Linux from it exclusively in some cases.
Apps And Services
Let's run down a handful of what Google offers in terms of applications for both Android and the Web shall we?
Google.com (search)Google ChromeChrome OSYouTubeGoogle DriveGoogle PhotosGoogle MapsGmailGoogle Calendar
The list goes on.
The extent to which Google will go to harvest your data and keep your eyeballs on it's services is staggering. This list is here for those who need to break "The Big Four" and to encourage those who feel powerless when logging onto their computers and handing over credentials to a Goliath every time they want to surf the Web. This is the tip of the iceberg though - probably 5% of what all Google offers to keep you hooked, keep you dependent, and keep you coming back. It's up to you, the individual, to regain control of your online presence, stop bartering off your privacy for convenience, and be self-reliable and safe with the data you put onto the Web.
Keep the Internet Free!
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