If like me you want to divest surveillance capitalism like Google over the coming few years, but are also pragmatic about doing this gradually*, here’s a neat one with Google.
Apparently there is a way to do this from scratch, but I’ll assume like 90%+ email users you had a Gmail account and built rest of Google around it.
This is the key: Simply Delete your Gmail as a Service, according to Google’s instructions “Delete a Service or Your Google Account”
It should look like:
<img src=“https://wa.rner.me/uploads/2021/1e59d2f530.jpg" width=“200”/>
You will have to link it to another email address. I’m a Visionary User with Proton, partly because I support their long-term non-profit mission to promote encryption privacy in email & now file storage, but you can get an @protonmail for free, just like @gmail! Regardless of who you choose, can I suggest you choose an email which pokes fun at folks using Gmail & G Suite who insist on your logging into Google to collect their Drive files!
Mine is: [email protected] Drop me a line there if you wanna explain why.
Here’s some addresses at ProtonMail which already exist, if you wanna give them a pat on the back for their ingenuity: notatgmail notatgmail.com not-at-gmail not-at-gmail-dot-com iamnot-at-gmail whyareyoustillatgmail y-r-u-still-at-gmail.com y-u-at-gmail y-u-at-gmail-dot-com y-u-still-at-gmail-lol y-r-u-at-googlemail
How-to divest successfully from a technology: do not go cold turkey! Picking the low hanging fruit (like email) first with easy replacement, and continuing using some services where it is market leader (YouTube for monetised video content) as well as being able to engage with some siloed products (Drive). It’s always cool when you find a solution like this where in the short-term you can have minimal usage of the service with an element of protest and clear signal of your intention to leave entirely in the coming years. This is based on my experience de-addicting myself from my smartphone over the past 4 years through FirstWeek FlipPhone.