A Conditional Love Letter to Google

My beloved Google,

i-love-google

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

  • Through your wonderful email service, Gmail, though I’m usually accessing it through Apple Mail. When I do use my computer to access your email service, I find it so clean and streamlined and easy to follow a conversation. How did I ever use someone else? Why would I ever leave?
  • By using your search engine, which knows me so well. How many Wikipedia entries have you led me to? How many research projects have you made infinitely easier? How many times have you saved me in a conversation when I need a quick reminder? How many arguments have you ended among my friends? Clearly, this is your best venture by far.
  • Through Google Translate, which has saved my ignorance many times.
  • In your Maps function, where you can’t get my home address right but you can always tell me how to plan road trips to faraway locations. Thank you for taking traffic into perspective, giving an actual perspective of how long it will take me to get somewhere. You’ve also taken notice of the PVTA bus schedule, which makes planning my Five-College adventures easier.
  • By checking out your adorable doodles, which almost hides the fact that you’re an enormous corporation using my data for unknown purposes.
  • In using Chrome, which is by far the best browser (even though I use Safari because of its convenience on my iPhone.) Chrome is beautiful. It’s simple. It comes with a bunch of extensions that make it great.
  • By creating the Chromebook, which I don’t actually use, but is beautiful and wonderful and if I ever went back from Mac, I would take you on.

Ah, but Google, there are also some things you need to work on if we want this relationship to work.

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  • Sometimes you’re like that friend that’s awesome to hang out with because you have connections and everything, but I don’t want to tell you everything because you’re not very good at keeping secrets. I know about your obsessive needs for surveillance. All your web-crawling and data mining efforts follow me around the Internet. I know the data that you have on me – it’s not incriminating or anything, but it’s still a little creepy. But I’m worried that if you don’t stop taking in data, it’s going to end badly for the both of us.
  • I know you’re not always loyal. I know about the others – and by others, I obviously mean the media conglomerates. I see it when you’re misrepresenting my search results. I see the targeted advertising on the side. We can manage, but you’re going to have to cut back on seeing them.
  • Your Books feature is failing as a library. Yes, there are concerns about your copyrights issues and digital issues, but your focus on being a search engine and your lack of concern for metadata makes it difficult for Google Books to function as a research repository. It makes me so angry.
  • Creating and saving files in Docs and Drive (respectively) isn’t actually that good or useful. I mean, it’s convenient for classwork occasionally, but the application needs work if you want it to be functional. It’s actually a pain to use sometimes, and it’s difficult to organize my files the way I want to. I’m still sticking with Microsoft on this one.
  • Google News. I’ve tried to use this service a few times, but it’s never really worked for me. You can find a number of articles, but maybe I’m looking for something too specific.
  • Google+. Stop trying to make Google+ happen. It’s not going to happen. Just buy out Facebook or something. Or Twitter. You can totally buy out Twitter. I’m fine with that.
  • I’m really not a fan of you owning YouTube. It makes me uncomfortable, although I don’t know why. I guess YouTube is a creative field for me (as we’ll get to next week) and I’m worried that you won’t respect that.

Google, you’re a huge part of my life. I don’t think I can ever let you go. But that doesn’t mean I trust you blindly. I understand that at the end of the day, you’re a machine. I know that your functionality, while normally clean and pure, can be disorganized in some ways. I know that your goal of leading me to an enlightened future is often muddled in capitalism. I know you’re trying not to be evil, but you’re certainly not good. 

You’re not mine – you’re just my access point through which I interpret the Internet. You belong to something much bigger than me. And while I have to accept your faults at times, it doesn’t make me very happy.

Occasionally yours,

Emily

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