Google Has Taken Over. I Don’t Mind And Neither Should You
Presented By Wingz – Scheduled Airport Rides
As I sat down to write, I realized I was simultaneously using three products equipped with Google software.
It’s common for people to completely buy into the Apple product line. Their gateway might have been an iPod back in the day and they might have eventually upgraded to an iPhone. The follow-up was likely a Mac desktop or laptop, and eventually they might have purchased an iPad as well, rounding out their collection. One device used for life on the go, one used for entertainment from the couch, and the third as a terminal for both work and play.
This is why it struck me as how odd it was that I was tweeting on my Nexus 5 smartphone, watching Youtube on my NVIDIA Shield tablet, and browsing the internet on a Chromebook Pixel.
It happened very gradually, but Google sneaked into both my work and play as their products improved with time. From the point where I received Gmail and Drive accounts from my high school, Google’s applications and mobile devices became increasingly important in daily life.
8 years later, I rely even more on Google’s products and services for nearly everything. I manage most of my writing on Drive and watch Youtube channels more often than actual TV. While Spotify serves as my primary source for music, the application runs on my tablet and phone or via the Chromebook’s browser.
Google has taken over and I don’t mind. These products are already in wide use around the world and the increasing acceptance of smart watches and heads up displays means that Google has more opportunities to universalize its services. The way I see it, I have access to applications that look great and work fluidly. The best part is I didn’t even have to pay for them.
However, convenience comes at a cost. The biggest issue with this takeover is the encroachment on privacy. Google Now is really creepy and keeps track of things I didn’t even know I would need to keep track of. But when I swipe up from the bottom of my screen on my phone, I have immediate access to news on all the stuff I care about. It reminds me where I’ve parked my car and keeps me posted on cool stuff to do in the surrounding area. It’s easy to forget how much personal data Google takes in when day to day tasks are made simple with technology.
While Apple users have their own complimentary applications preloaded on Apple’s operating systems, they have also embraced Google’s services even if they don’t realize it. Local schools tout their acquisition of iPads for every student without being conscious of the fact that they use Google Drive to create documents, make presentations, and gather data on spreadsheets. University students streamline the research process by locating academic sources on Scholar. The sheer convenience of these applications coupled with free accessibility has made their usage nearly universal. Nearly everyone relies on Google Maps simply because they find it to be reliable.
For now, the massive convenience has come at a relatively low price. Users have to fork over a relatively small chunk of personal information and see some advertisements but the net gain of consolidated services has largely come as a boon for the majority of people.
As long as Google doesn’t abuse anyone’s trust, this symbiotic relationship will continue to help both parties. As soon as consumers start feeling as though they are being taken advantage of, the entire enterprise could crumble.
For now, it’s best to keep a wary eye on the corporation’s activities and to carry on enjoying the benefits of putting your your life in Google’s hands.