I will start this post with a very honest confession..
My life has changed for the better since Google came into my life. It is true and there are no two ways about it.
Any attempts to imagine a world without Google right now, for what I do in my profession and for what I do creatively to whet my appetite, be it music, reading, etc., are beyond the last boundary walls of fear one would tend to build for oneself, when he chews on the possibility of apocalypse hitting him. So it is true that Google, the verb for what the company originally was famous for, has changed my life.
Then came the Maps. Yes, Google Maps. In a ‘changing-my-life’ scale of 1-10, if the Google search engine is at 20, then Google Maps is possibly at a 5 for me. Because, I would have still been able to get through my everyday life almost to the same level as I do today, even if there were no Google Maps. But, here is another confession. I will always pick Google Maps over anything else if (as it is now) there are choices.
Then came Gmail. Or it came before the Maps. It doesn’t matter. But Gmail came into my life after Maps did.
With an approval by invitation only beginning for what everyone was expecting to be a revolutionary e-mail solution from Google, to where it is today, Gmail has only been growing in its strength. On my CML scale, Gmail would probably be a 2. There were so many choices then for emails and there still are. So, there. Here is a confession, I have multiple gmail accounts for both personal and professional needs. I guess I should say, this was the beginning in some ways. The beginning of conflicts in my mind.
Then came Google Apps for Small Businesses.
As a small business owner of a growing organization, Google Apps offered everything (or many things) in one place. We didn’t have to worry about signing up for half a dozen different services to get though our business operations. Google Apps simplified small business experience and on a CML scale, this probably is at 3.5. I like Google Apps. As long as it offers the same level of commitment to its customers without any cost increases, I will continue to use this. The moment, I see any of the above breached, I will move away. I will not lose much except having to learn some new tools.
And then came Google Plus.
When Google Plus came out in the market, I was vehemently opposing the idea and got into many damaging arguments with some good friends who are hardcore Google Nuts. Here is what I wrote on that topic almost 2.5 years ago. What I didn’t anticipate at that time was how Google Plus would evolve into a DICTATOR.
A Dictator not in Social media (like I predicted), but a Dictator of a different kind (which I didn’t anticipate).
A Dictator who could completely ruin our lives by creating a Totalitarian Society.
A discriminating Dictator who could potentially start dictating our everyday lives almost to the point where there is no way out.
A Dictator who could take control of our thinking powers by making us think exactly like how the Dictator wants and by potentially starting to engage in a comprehensive remapping of human lives on this planet.
And so on..
I am not trying to sound apocalyptic or catastrophic. I am just being practical. The swift way with which Google has managed to change its overall Google Plus strategy and push its way through the internet in the last few months (notwithstanding the recent purchase of Nest & all that), not only highlights how powerful Google as a company is, as they pretty much own half the internet now, but also emphasizes the potential risk of letting go of our control of small things. Small things – Let’s say like posting an anonymous comment on a youtube video link.
I may be in minority now and not many may want to speak out or not many have possibly thought through the scenarios like I have.
But I am willing to offer my resistance.
I am willing to raise my hand and yell at this danger. I want to.
I want us to think about how far this could go. I am willing to put my foot down before that isn’t even a choice.
Because, I want to have a choice to refuse to be enslaved by Google .
I do not want to be a Google slave.
You heard it right, I do not want to be a Google Slave. Will I have a choice?
[Addendum: I didn’t take into account every single Google product that has come into market, which by the way are quite many. I have focused only on those products that have directly affected me.]