The De-Google

Hi folks, so, it has been a bit, but I’ve changed my personal email setup and this would be a good place to talk about why, and how I’m doing so.

First, I’ve got a new email, through FastMail. I’ve set up my DNS through them and through WordPress.com for FastMail to accept and send email on my behalf. Paying $5/mo, you’ve got access to as many aliases as you could want, so I have a few of them going to my email, all included.

So I figure step one is move all my business/subscription emails over to the respective aliases to my email I set. Well, step 1 (step 0?) was actually setting up the DNS, but I’m not going to go into that because it was all extremely discoverable to be able to access mail from my domain to Fastmail. But if we’re calling step 1 post-setup the first step, then I’ve started in on moving all my emails to the new addresses. Amazon, Steam, Kickstarter, and myriad others are now all pointing to the new spot.

Next will be actually following their migration guide. This will involve pulling all my contacts and calendar items over to Fastmail. I’ll also need to figure out how I want to handle my storage in Google Drive, which I think is going to be Amazon S3 – I’m not wild about Bezos but I’m most familiar (slash, sorry all, totally in love) with AWS of all the cloud providers, and Gb/mo are extremely cheap on S3.

I’m doing this because I think it’s important to pay for the technology that is meaningful and useful to you, if you can, and the consequences of not doing so mean that Google/Facebook/Amazon(I know) have yet another lump of data to sell to someone, about you and people like you. I want to opt out, and I’m technically savvy enough to do so*. I just think it’s, like, beyond ironic to take “don’t be evil” out of the organizational credo. Project Dragonfly and D&I lipservice and condoned internal sexual assault… I just don’t need to be in their web any longer.

What’s going to be hard, though, are many things.
One, I’ll be paying $5/mo for.. ever. Unless I start hosting my own. Which I will never do. It feels like a second marriage, signing up to HAVE TO pay this, forever. I KNOW it is worth it. and five bucks a month is NOT going to make a dent in my spending. But it’s a long-term commitment, and it’s wild to me, for some reason.
Two, turning off location for gmaps and not using Maps at all is.. probably going to take me some time. They’ve poured a lot of money into making it a beautiful, usable map interface. It’s so good. Gah. I’m pre-missing it.
Three, actually getting all the right stuff to go to my new email (and aliases) is really going to be a thing. I will be tidying up pieces of this for a year, I estimate.
Fourth and finally, convincing all the individual humans I know to email me at the new email is going to be an absolutely serious pain. I changed my email about eight years ago when my original gmail account, rachelkelly@gmail.com, just got so overflowed with other Rachel Kellys’ valid emails, that I set a permanent “vacation responder” on anything that comes in saying “you should try to contact me in other ways,” which applies to people who know me, AND to people who know the other Rachel Kellys. Then, I created a personal email, and a business(/junk) email, both in Google space. This separation has worked well. But I recall family giving me grief for changing my email and not Getting it entirely for some time – this shouldn’t be so hard on others, but a) companies like Google absolutely have a vested interest in it being so, and b) email is an old protocol, yo, and the evolutions that have happened with email are absolutely the result of an actual crapload of work and enhancement over existing supercomplexity.

So, I’m starting out. I want to get off Google’s grid, in so much as I can. I’ll let you know how it’s gone in a bit.

  • you shouldn’t need a ton of technical savvy to de-google, there are guides, but it probably doesn’t hurt
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2 thoughts on “The De-Google

    • Oh lord. I SHOULD keep a count shouldn’t I?? It will be a process. And I thought I would have changed at least the WP one last night after logging in to write the post, but no apparently not! I probably did ten or fifteen last night – WP and Patreon jump out at me this morning for needing to do.

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