It was a simple enough thing…
I wanted to change my Google News from a two column format back to a one column format.
I’d decided to try the two column format a couple of months ago and recently decided I really didn’t like the way it looks or works on my computer screen or more importantly my iPad.
So I clicked on the little gear at the top of the page. Guess what? The control for columns isn’t there…
I can adjust all the feeds but can’t DELETE certain feeds entirely (an annoyance since some of the so called Google news feeds are so poorly written as to be unintelligible).
So, I start hunting for the control that will let me have a single column of news articles.
1.5 hours later I’ve found many things I don’t like about Googles accounts, their Google+, and their Blogger account management.
After signing into the Google Dashboard which very helpfully shows me all my Google applications and services but will not allow me to DELETE those services that I’m no longer interested in.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to disassociate myself from the Google tit.
I found a listing of applications for my Android phone(s). EVERY Application EVER! Including those that I didn’t pay for, and those that I downloaded only to be disappointed by.
Google says these applications are installed on my Phone… They’re not!
Again, the helpful dashboard displays it all very nicely, but won’t permit me to edit the list or delete those particularly disappointing applications that shouldn’t have ever seen the light of day.
Also included is a Product List.
Within the list are a number of services that 1) Ive never used, 2) I have no need of, 3) I don’t care about.
However all show as active on my dashboard and account. What are these? Why are they here, and how do I control them? Apparently I can’t.
I found 247 photos in The Picassa section of my Dashboard.
What bothers me is that SOME of those photos I believe came from my iPad. WTF?
I have another problem too. I’ve deleted many of those photos both from the web and from my phone and yet they keep coming back.
Obviously, I’ll check the setting on both the ipad and the my android phone and delete the photos again. (Thank god there are no sexting photos!)
I just deleted the Google+ application from my iPad simply because I wasn’t using it. Honestly, I’ve lost about all interest in Google+. I do suspect the Google+ application was the source of the photo sharing from the iPad. (I probably clicked through a sharing question without fully realizing it’s importance.You know, the question just before the one that authorizes Google or it’s assignees to remove your left testicle in the event of a 3rd world food crisis.)
Then there’s the list of Blogs that I subscribed to when I was using Blogger.
Many of those Blogs I’d like to unsubscribe from.
If you click on the helpful “Settings” link, you’re taken to a login page that wants you to sign in using a social media login. Or you can create a google account.
Wait! I’m signed into a Google dashboard, from an existing Google account and I’ve clicked on a link that implies I can alter the settings to a blog that I’ve subscribed to… What???
How about a link that simply says UNSUBSCRIBE! You’d think that wouldn’t be unreasonable from the freaking dashboard Link labeled “MANAGE BLOGS”
If they mean manage the blogs that I created then why do they show me all the blogs I’ve subscribed to and how the hell do I delete the Blog I created?
Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?
It appears that the only way to clean up after myself and remove things that I no longer wish to have associated with me is to close and cancel the Google account those things are associated with.
Fine by me!
This may have made my decision about my next phone… Quite probably it’s not going to be an Android.
My world is far too complex as it is…
I see no need to make my world more complex with useless “Dashboards” that don’t actually allow direct control of the account without companies collecting yet more data on me.
Why the hell should I have to associate a Twitter Account with a Google account JUST TO REMOVE a blog that I don’t read anymore. Come to think of it I don’t use the Reading list anymore either.
I’ve been noticing this surreptitious collection trend more and more lately.
We’ll let you change your account information IF you give us;
Your Phone number OR
You allow us to link to your facebook for the purposes of directed advertising OR
Let us know your twitter ID so we can scan your tweets for sales and marketing information. OR
You let us plug into your life in a myriad of other ways.
Given the recent NSA monitoring disclosures, for me it begs the question…
Just WHO am I giving this information to?
Does a company really need to have a profile on me that links my entire online footprint together? That profile is essentially defining me, my politics, preferences, & shopping habits. God help you if you’re vocal about what you perceive to be wrong doing on the part of our government or it’s leadership.
I did a search the other day for a gold jewelry item. From the moment I did that search… ALL of my web search pages have links back to various jewelry vendors.
I decided not to purchase the item but I’m being pounded again and again by advertisements from vendors for something I’m not interested in and probably WON’T be interested in.
Thank god I didn’t look up Venereal Diseases!
I understand that a FREE account isn’t necessarily free.
I don’t mind a reasonable trade off. But where does it stop, and when does the collection of data become too intrusive?
I suppose that as of today, I have an answer to that question.
Google has become too intrusive. I’m thinking that it’s time to find another search engine, and to make sure that all Google related cookies are gone.
It does make one wonder about just disengaging altogether.
Maybe wired phones, printed books & newspapers, and snowy TV was a better era in American life.