Are you aware that every last detail of your digital existence is being capitalized on endlessly and mercilessly, without your knowledge or consent? Amazon and Google listen to you through your smart speaker. The FBI is recording your every move through your webcam and your two cameras on your phone. Does this sound like exaggeration? Like I've read too many dystopian novels? Like I just watched Brazil or something? The more research you do into these companies, the more you will realize I am not exaggerating at all. Here is a perfect example of the ever-eviscerating mental hellscape, something I saw when I logged onto Google for the first time in a few days
EXPLOITATION, Manipulation, Constructing an Illusion of control for the abused and exploited. This behavior of these handful of technology companies is inhumane. This is the same thing that Facebook does, telling you "it" "cares" about you, "your friends" care about you (with random selections of your recent messages), and ""won't you please feel 'insecure' so you will buy new mini skirts"". This is what Tinder and OkCupid and Instagram do, making other people seem more interested in you than they really are. Feeding your ego, widening the gap inside yourself, further feeding your quest for validation and approval. Google is at it again, do you want to know what this is?
This is an illusion of control. Google wants you to think that you have some element of control over what it does with your data (hold on, HA HA HAAHAHA what a FUCKing joke), and you most certainly have no control whatsoever. Do you really think that when you turn off "Location Services" on your phone, that the web software designed by a handful of millionaires is going to RESPECT, ""YOUR"", "decision"?
"Oh, miss Jenny Applesmith made a selection to disallow camera and microphone on the following apps: Twitch, Facebook, Discord. Golly, we're such an ethical company, we're going to comply by her wishes and not totally record her masturbating and crying through her microphone and camera without her consent, and then analyze the data to sell it to six other companies for a pretty penny. Faceless corporations have feelings too, what do you think HR is for? Good luck with life, miss Applesmith!"
Dream on. No one at Google gives a shit. These little levers, controls, these shiny UI solutions made with Angular that are always that bright blue, it's all a placebo affect. The meter does nothing at all, the only purpose it even serves the company (besides manipulating you, the product, the cash cow grazing in a pasture of data, into trusting it) is simply recording your decision. Your decision is worth surprisingly more than pocket change.
Wake the fuck up. Your phone is doing more acrobatics with your data than your own brain can even perform in your head. Google knows what your thoughts are before you think them. It has interpreted them from your taste in porn, your taste in shopping, and the kind of research you do during the day. It knows who you are better than you do. Here's another thought: You sign in to Facebook. It asks you for your phone number.
"Hello! Won't you please add your phone number to Facebook? Your friends want to get in touch with you! This is a safety measure for securing your account. Type your little phone number into this little text field, please!"
Here's what Facebook doesn't want you to know: It already knows your phone number. You make calls on your phone, don't you? Facebook is an app on your phone, isn't it? From a computer programmer's perspective, it is very very easy to get certain information about a device, as application software. That's how it knows who to suggest for you to add as friends: it goes through your text messages, your calls, anyone you've ever talked to, it connects your phone number with theirs. That's why you always get these random people you hung out with twice five years ago.
So you're probably thinking now: Why does Facebook even ask me for my phone number, if it already knows it? This faceless corporation, this monopoly on human insecurity, is pretending that it hasn't already violated your "privacy" (whatever that even means anymore).
You can fight back! Destroy your digital collar and chain!!!! YOU. ARE. NOBODY'S. BITCH. The way to successfully stick it to the establishment is very simple, it's literally even easier than you think:
Unplug. Delete your Google! Delete Facebook. Avoid anything associated with Microsoft. Cover your webcam with tape. Reclaim your life. Even if you're already stuck using an Android phone, or a Windows tablet, it's okay, really it's okay. There's still things you can do to liberate yourself. The first step is clearing your cookies and setting your browser to block common web trackers - it's a feature in Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, but I know for a fact that Google isn't gonna let you block Google - even with these small, simple things, you can begin to free yourself of your self-imposed virtual shackles. Firefox exists. Linux exists. VPN and Tor exist for concealing your location and anonymizing yourself.
As far as a search engine goes, I recommend using the unbiased, more ethical option that respects your privacy and your digital footprint: DuckDuckGo. Give it a try. But really, instead of doing anything I've suggested for you so far, the easiest and most effective solution for all of these problems, the only true method to stop these companies from leeching off of your existence, is to throw your laptop, your iPad, your Samsung BerryDevice into a god damn river. No one can fucking track your location and your heart rate when the thing has maggots behind the screen underwater and your miles down the road.
I'm sorry I'm crazy! I'm sorry! I can't keep it to myself anymore! I need help. I understand my own flaws, and my own failures to apply certain principles to my own life. But I have to say something!!! I'm a god damn artist, right? Please, think about what I'm saying. Do you want to know how I know that I'm right about all of this? I've worked in the industry. I've installed privacy policies on people's sites. I've violated my own personal code for the sake of my job, by installing invasive tracking scripts for various Google services. There's Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google Business accounts. I know how this works!