My Struggle with Google

I’ve been avoiding using Google Cloud for the longest time. Way back in the day, I was a huge Google supporter, excitedly exploring every new app or program Google Labs had released. Traveling overseas, Google Buzz was the best way to get attention as I posted photos and updated my blog from town to town: people in the area could see what I was doing and join me for short, interesting conversations about their country.

Of course, Google also gives up easily on their ventures, and they yanked Google Buzz and Google Reader away with no ceremony and only a corporate apology.

Then they turned insidious. They announced that all adult-content blogs on Blogger should list themselves so, and they would be blocked from web searches. This infuriated so many people (because adult content is about much, much more than lonely old men masturbating to inappropriate images) that Google was forced to recant their intention. They also changed their language, out of resentment: adult content was then referred to as “smut”, their Parthian shot as they lost that battle. Way to take the high road.

Now, of course, they’ve attempted to walk it back toward consumer satisfaction, offering a Gmail option to warn users of sites that may be trying to harvest data for Homeland Security. Or something. It was a weak and limp offering, and frankly hypocritical. The “do no evil” company has strayed far from the path.

On the other hand, I haven’t entirely broken with them. I’ve been avoiding using Google Cloud because of my concern with privacy/security issues (less that someone could break in, more that they’d hand my shit over to the NSA with a smile), but I’ve recently begun wading into those turbid waters. I uploaded a dozen of my lesser short stories, stuff I don’t care that much about but which could use some shaping up. These reside in a folder on the Cloud, which means I can access them anywhere: on my laptop, obviously, but on my phone as well. I can even recite a story idea into a new doc, and Google will transcribe it and store it in my Giantess folder, for later revision. This is so goddamned convenient it hurts. And it makes me want to write more, too. I’m enamored of the idea that I can open up one of my old short stories from anywhere, reread it, polish it up in places, then capriciously skip on over to another story and tool that up a bit, as whimsy permits. That’s a lot of work on these stories that I wouldn’t otherwise be doing, and I ha-a-a-ate revision. Yet this makes revision pleasant. That’s value.

I still mistrust Google, I’m heartbroken and betrayed by them, but they still do offer some cool toys. So what kind of person am I?

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