Nandakumar Edamana's Personal Website
nandakumar.org

Why I Don't Use...

Here are some popular products and services that I don't use (or try to avoid) and the reasons for doing so. Please keep in mind that this page doesn't imply everything related to the following are evil, or these are the only/most problematic products or services out there. There are worse, but I'm listing the only ones that I'm frequently asked about.

Facebook

Facebook is built around the idea of collecting and monetizing personal information. Even if it were not, I don't find any real use of Facebook for me. I've never had a Facebook account.

See this Wikipedia article to learn more. I know Wikipedia cannot be a trusted, but you can find trustworthy sources there.

Most from Google

I used to have a Google account, not any more. Several reasons, some listed in my blog under the tag google. They mostly boil down to privacy concerns and the lack of freedom and control.

An important thing to avoid from Google is the Chrome browser, which is really bad to one's privacy.

NOTE: Google says it "never uses your data in Google Workspace core services for advertising.". That doesn't answer whether they involve in unhealthy collection and analysis of personal information for some other purpose. Anyway, if one must have a Google account, I'd recommend the paid Workspace account over the free one.

YouTube for Posting Videos

I appreciate the fact that Google lets you watch YouTube videos without a Google account and DRM. I'm even ready to pay for YouTube Premium if it won't get me tied to the Google ecosystem.

Coming back to posting on YouTube, I actually had a channel and a good number of viewership. But Google is always in control of what ads to show and which videos to recommend. Sometimes this is totally unacceptable. The ads might be featuring products that sound unethical to you. The recommended videos might be spreading misinformation or might be inappropriate in nature.

Of course, user privacy is a concern, but there are ways to watch YouTube without losing privacy. What is more important is the control the creator lacks.

Online maps

I use them when I have to, but I always prefer asking people.

Social media

I don't use certain social meida platforms like Facebook due to disagreement with the way they collect and treat users' personal data. But even with ethical services, I generally avoid using social media due to some personal tastes and beliefs.

  • Less work and more popularity is the way it works most of the time; if you are a person who would like to work hard and produce things that are really useful, you might get frustrated witnessing others becoming more popular than you, or worse, you might switch to doing silly stuff expecting more likes and comments.
  • Almost all of the feedback you get is useless. Most of the likes and appreciations will be either from your friends who really wish to support you, or from people who expect likes and subscriptions in return. They might not even have gone through all of your post. This happens because participating in social media is effortless and cheap, unlike writing a physical letter, or even an email. Real comments come from people who are ready to take some effort.
  • Sure there will be people capable of constructive criticism in social media, but they might hesitate to comment seeing the amount of appreciations you get.
  • Peer pressure felt in social media is harmful than beneficial.
  • You'll start thinking debating and leaving your opponent speechless is what it means to have accomplished something. The online versions of my regional newspapers make each of such incident a news, when the one who snaps is a celebrity.

WhatsApp

  • It is owned by Facebook, which has a really bad reputation.
  • It isn't free software.
  • Even if it were trustworthy and free software, I don't find any real use of WhatsApp for me.

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Give preference to the copyright notices and licenses given with individual posts (if any). Shots of movies, books or other works owned by others are included for review purpose only.