Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Google and Dumbphone Take Over My Life

After many months and years I bought a smartphone recently. I am however not too inclined to believe it is smart. If it is smart it will make me believe that I am smart. But it goes to great lengths to make me feel dumb. It moves too quickly and goes off into modes that I don't know where to find, does all kinds of things by itself, makes funny noises, sends of messages, changes settings and has secretly taken over all my information and my life. I have this constantly amazed look on my face these days as I try to figure out how to undo the damage it is doing to me every moment of the day. (For all I know it is possibly has made classified records of all the conversations, sms, pictures etc and kept it safely from me.) How can I call it a smartphone somebody please tell me. It's dumb.

Anyway the phone is not the real problem. The real problem is when it teams up with our friendly neighbourhood helper Google. For long I have secretly suspected Google of keeping all my tracks fully covered. It has all the information of all the searches I make, all the downloads, has a lot of confidential information on my mail at its mercy, has a lot of pics of mine at its mercy, has a lot more information of mine on my blog (this one that you read) and so many more wonderful products that are all Google's - and all so well connected that they know me better than I know myself. I am not joking - it does know me better than I know myself. If there is one cross examination I fear ever - it would be the one by Google. It's probably the closest to the one on judgment day.

It all started on the first day of Mr. Too-Smart-For-It's-Own-Good-Phone. I was asked by this smartphone owning friend if I needed to configure my smartphone to gmail and I said 'yes'. (I had visions of being able to exercise my choice and access gmail when I wished to, as and when I got an internet connection, and then check the mail on the go when I wished to. Heh heh, rather old fashioned thinking right!) But guess what? Google knows me better than myself and it decided that perhaps I want to have all the pictures I uploaded on blogger on my phone. I have about 900 pictures from my blog now sitting on my phone and I am wondering why they are here in the first place. Did anyone ask me if I wanted these pictures from a totally different product on my smartphone? I don't think so. And the best part is that unlike the other pictures, I cannot delete these pics that Google holds somewhere in a cloud for ransom.

I guess you figured it by now. I don't like it. I don't like being pushed, being taken for granted, being told that Google knows what is best for me. Google is now the salesman in the shop who tells me that he knows best what is good for me. It is that parent who makes us rebel against what we really want because they shove it down out throats. If t is good for us, let us ask for it. Let us find a way to get it. Don't do all the work and put it on the platter and take all the credit for it. Nothing is worse than that.

I suspect that it's only a matter of time before Google and the smartphone chappies start taking all our decisions for us. Who is our best friend, who are our favorites, what we like to watch most, what we wear, what movies we like, what books we read - and keep pushing information, products with or without our knowledge into our lives. It will choose our schools, colleges, girlfriends, boyfriends, souses, make payments, buy houses, clothes, cars and even choose our orientations. (Whose calls to take, whose not to?) At some point these two will claim complete control over our lives because we might have, for all we know, already signed away our lives to them. After all they know what is best for us does it not? All we need to do is accept it, stop thinking, and they takes over our lives fully for us.
Ah, what a relief. 

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