Jan 01, 2020
Explored decentralisation of digital footprint
A quote from Aral Balkan's interview on OffScreen Magazine make me think about my digital footprint.
"It's actually not about the software; it's about the business model."

....Apple's profit is based on selling you things instead of selling you. Google, on the other hand, starts making money not when you buy an Android phone but when you start using it. For Google, customers are only valuable when they can start farming them.

"The more time you spend using their systems, the better these companies can profile you and hten exploit that information for their own gain."

"In Silicon Valley, addiction is not a bad word: it's the means by which you ensure that your livestock keep using your machines while you farm them for maximum value."

I used to be a fan of Google, even used one of their Pixel phones. I used to love it for the convenience until I read this interview. The interview made me realised the real cost for "free" services. I used to think that Google is one of the gold standard for design until I found out how they've designed a system in place to capitalise on you.

I decided to explore ways to reduce my digital footprint and reduce the noise when I'm online.

Some of the things that I have done to decentralise my digital footprint:
  • Separate my newsletters email to services that require personal information - highly recommend SlickInbox
  • Transition out of all Google services to decentralise alternative options.
  • Start with Privacy Tools' Website on what to do.

Some of the benefits I have been able to enjoy since:
  • Irrelevant ads and content on my social media feed - which challenge me to do my own information and look for alternative way to learn. So quiet. So so quiet. I've since consumed a balanced of information from either side.
  • Learnt a lot about digital footprint. Digital footprint is as if an individual leave a mark everywhere they go.

Some of the things I realised after I reduce my digital footprint:
  • I leave too many traces online for companies to track me from one channel to another. Before exploring this, I was reacting to ads on daily basis.
  • My shopping habit probably came from scrolling through Instagram, having relevant content and ads served to me - always craving for something new to consume.
  • I'm sacrificing a little bit of inconvenience, for a lot of quiet and peace in my life. I gradually got used to the "inconvenience".