We did everything together but it couldn't go on. The weight of the surveillance became too much to bear.
Saying goodbye to Maps was the hardest part of leaving Google.
OpenStreetMap simply does not compare — not yet, anyway — but I know the perfect mapping service will come into my life when I least expect it.
In the end, the decision to divorce wasn't made lightly. Like most marriages, the relationship deteriorated gradually. Looking back, switching to DuckDuckGo is where it all started.
I payed more attention to Google trackers indexing my browsing habits. I realized how much I relied on Google — for browsing, search, email, calendar, docs, storage, 2FA, directions, train schedules — and was disconcerted by how much user data it discloses.
Having stepped out of my echo chamber, when I decided I wanted a new email account with a custom domain, ProtonMail was the obvious choice.
During a trailer binge, I was freaked out by how spot on my YouTube recommendations had become. I'm of the opinion that no advertiser should know how badly I want to see that dystopian drama (read: romantic comedy) coming to theaters near me in 2018. I'm much happier using Vimeo.
Eventually, I made friends who message exclusively via Signal. Now I do, too. Disappearing messages has made it easier to convince the uninitiated that it's worth the switch.
When I was setting up a new virtual machine and chose Firefox as my default browser, I realized what had happened. Google and I had drifted apart. I'd had enough.
The divorce has been a little messy. Despite the many free and open source alternatives to Google services, compromises had to be made.
I'll still use Chrome for front end dev work. I can lock down my primary Gmail and limit how often I use it, but it will take more work to move all my login information to my ProtonMail account before I can delete it.
We've been together for so long that detaching completely will take time.