I have been a self-proclaimed “Google whore” for awhile now. I use it every day in more ways than one. In fact, if I step back from it and compare my usage of Google to my usage of the computer a few years ago, an argument could be made that Google is my new operating system. A cloud-based OS.
Let’s look at the Google apps that I use all the time:
- Search (obviously)
- Google Calendar
- Google Docs
- Google Reader
- Google Analytics
- Google Webmaster Central
- Google Adsense
Up until recently, that was it (said tounge-in-cheek). Then, I got an Android phone. So, now…
- Google Voice
- Google Contacts
- My whole damn phone
Every single day, I have numerous dips into the pool of Google. And strangely, I’m OK with that.
Should I Be?
I know there is a cadre of people out there (one of PCMech’s author’s, Rich, included) who are weary of Google because of the privacy issue.
Those privacy concerns are certainly not without fuel. After all, just days ago, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said..
“The only way to manage this is true transparency and no anonymity. In a world of asynchronous threats, it is too dangerous for there not to be some way to identify you. We need a (verified) name service for people. Governments will demand it.”
This is just one of many quotes from the Google CEO that has led bloggers like John Gruber to call him “creepy“.
There is no doubt that Google has a lot of information about me and my life. I’m not one who gets all tin-foiled hat about it, however. Everything you do on the Internet is logged, and Google is no exception. They use the information for analytics and advertising. Welcome to the real world.
Plus, there are gobs of other choices out there, so people who use Google do it by choice. As do I. The fact is that all of Google’s competitors are tracking you, too. People just like to harp on Google because they are the top dog.
At the same time, let’s hypothetically say that Google disabled my account. Let’s say they think I’ve been up to something suspicious and they freeze the account. With it, they would take down my email, my contact list, my website stats, a source of income (Adsense), and my mobile phone. All in one fail swoop.
Makes you wonder about that “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” argument.
At the end of the day, however, I will remain a Google whore. I like their products and it makes my life easier. The company has made all our lives easier. Even if you don’t use much of their value-add products, you do likely use them for search. Google has revolutionized the search engine industry and has driven major innovation in all areas of the Internet (even if only by inspiring stronger competitors). Even the web-mail services like Hotmail and Yahoo are constantly improving because Gmail is helping to drive them to.
Am I the frog in warming water? I don’t know. I tend to think not, but I’m sure others will disagree with me. And I’m fine with that.