Who Controls Your Life — the Big 5 Tech Giants or You?

This morning I read, I Cut the ‘Big Five’ Tech Giants From My Life. It Was Hell by Kashmir Hill, and I left this comment:

I dumped my smartphone for a dumbphone several years ago. I don’t text. When I leave home, I leave the Internet behind and spend less than 5 minutes a month on my dumbphone.

When I get up in the morning, I leave my multiple screens (yes, I have more than one screen and I am tempted to add another one … or two) and desktop computer off until I finish the exercise routine of the day, and that exercise can take anywhere from an hour to two hours.

When I bought a new Kia Niro plug-in hybrid, it came with a radio that didn’t have a CD drive but it did offer SiriusXM free for several months.

What did I do? I had the original radio replaced ASAP, and a few months later got a “phone” call from SiriusXM asking me what happened to my car, that they couldn’t find/track it. I told the caller what I had done, and added if I had control of enough missiles I’d blow SiriusXM’s satellite network out of the sky. SiriusXM has been and keeps sending me ads through snail mail. I tear them up and drop them in the recycle bin. SiriusXM never gives up, but they aren’t alone. Most corporations constantly “harass” us with their unwanted ads.

I gave up my Kindle e-readers before I dumped my pest of a smartphone and only read books printed on paper or listen to them on CDs in the car with my new unconnected radio that came with a CD player, and it doesn’t even have GPS.

Although I still use Facebook, Amazon, and Google with my desktop and its two monitors, I have a lot of free time even if the kleptocracy’s autocratic technocrats are still harvesting information from me and making a profit off it.

With all that time to myself away from their digital claws, I still think for myself and easily avoid all the techno crap, cookies, traps and pitfalls when I am online. Every time I log off, I log onto the control panel and delete browsing history, cookies and saved website data, catched data and files and tabs I’ve set aside or recently closed.

Well, most of them anyway. Because once a month I also use the free editions offered by Malwarebyts, SuperAntiSpyware, and CCleaner, that just told me it can’t run on Windows … but it always worked before. Now I wonder why Windows must have blocked CCleaner. Maybe because it actually worked.

After all, I did click on the link to Kashmir Hill’s post and enjoyed reading it. We all know why it was recommended to me because some spy-app called a cookie from Amazon and/or Google that tracks what I’m interested in, sent it to me based on my internet history use.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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