Farhad Manjoo asks the question, “The Big Five tech companies increasingly dominate our lives. Could you ditch them?”
Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, are not just the largest technology companies in the world. As I’ve argued repeatedly in my column, they are also becoming the most powerful companies of any kind, essentially inescapable for any consumer or business that wants to participate in the modern world. But which of the Frightful Five is most unavoidable? I ponder the question in my column this week.
But what about you? If an evil monarch forced you to choose, in what order would you give up these inescapable giants of tech?
This sounded fun. Here’s my order from first dropped to last (I’m sure your list would certainly vary):
Microsoft. The only Microsoft product I use regularly is Word and I don’t really have to if I don’t want to. That’s about it.
Facebook. I can easily drop Facebook as I think the platform has become overloaded by partisan politics and home businesses. Of course, Instagram is part of Facebook and I’d miss it, but probably not that much.
Amazon. I like to buy stuff from Amazon. I know my family and I would likely save money and time if we used it even more than we do. My brother-in-law uses it for weekly and monthly items like toilet paper and laundry detergent. Still, I could buy nearly everything I get from Amazon someplace else. This exercise also reminds me I need to review Amazon Prime for new TV shows.
Alphabet. I’m transitioning to using DuckDuckGo as my default search engine, so giving up Google search isn’t a big deal. I’m testing moving my web browsing to Safari from Chrome and I think I’ve made it palatable (mostly by using Myfave.es). Gmail and Google Drive would be difficult to be rid of because I like the interactions I have with those services, but I could probably use something else like Dropbox and FastMail. I’d hate to lose YouTube most of all, so that’s why it’s #2.
Apple. While I don’t hate on PCs and Android devices, I love my MacBook, iPad, and iPhone. I interact with these three devices more than just about any other electronics in my life. Without the hardware, I couldn’t run anything else.
Well, that was easier than I thought it would be when I started.