That 'Itch' Returns
Whilst it is neigh impossible to excise Google from one's online life, there are concrete things one can do to not feed the beast.
I have already removed all the Google Analytics tracking from my own web properties. Including this one. Yep, that means I really can't tell how many people actually read this. I haven't sent a "real" email on my Gmail account in years. I have moved to non-Google search engines (Bing actually works OK).
But there is one service I haven't moved away from. Way back in 2011 or so, I moved my personal email (that my wife and I use) to Google Apps. Prior to that I was using a "free" hosted email that sorta worked, and would still use, but their spam filtering was terrible. Google (then and now) really have the spam filters to die for.
Thus, for 11 years now, our home email has been hosted solely on Google's infrastructure. While in the way back I could have opted for the "free" tier of the Google Apps (they gave small orgs 2 user accounts the service gratis) I opted to pay, under the assumption (and promise) that Google wouldn't mine our traffic for their targeting of ads.
Of course, services were added, trimmed, removed. But the reality is that apart from Drive and mail, we have never used any of the other capabilities. So, I don't care about hangouts, docs, or any of the other "fluff". This is strictly a family account.
Speaking of family accounts, how come Google doesn't offer a free or very low-cost option to this segment? In the grand scheme of things I suspect that Google really makes no real profit on their Apps/G-suite/Workspace accounts. Perhaps for large enterprises it may generate a trickle of profit, but c'mon, this isn't a core business of theirs.
What's to be done?
Moving is the natural choice. I could pick the Microsoft365 Business Standard package. Precisely the same monthly fee, but we get a full TB per account for OneDrive, and 50GB for email (Google provides 30GB split between mail and Drive). It also provides the right to use for the full Office suite for each user. That would mean I could cancel my Office 365 subscription, and save $100 a year.
The positives there are pretty huge. Teams blows away whatever the fuck is the current Google collaboration product (they seem to launch a new platform for chat/messaging/conferencing every few months, abandoning something to the wayside). Having a real MS Exchange instance is cool. Way overkill, but Microsoft has their email game down very well, and the cloud based services are pretty kick-ass.
But, it is way overkill for the two of us.
Or, I could move the email to Fastmail, and be done with it. A little cheaper per month, really good email, and no fluff.
Or, I could just stay where we are at.
Probably going to just dream about the change, and not actually make the change.
In 9 months, when I post the same thing again, remind me that I am wasting your time reading the same shit, over and over.