My initial reaction to seeing this assignment was that it would be relatively easy to go one week without using Google/Facebook. I haven’t had a Facebook account in years and I thought I could consciously go a week without googling something. But what broke this initial expectation was the realization that the grasp of Facebook and Google as rival corporations stretch far further throughout several different massive industries including technological, communicative, and media industries.
In truth, I would be unable to complete this challenge properly. While it was easy to not use Facebook, I had to remember not to use Instagram either, which is owned by Facebook. Instagram is not my social media platform of choice but instead one I open sparingly to see specific, sparingly posted content or see friends. My short usage of this app made it easy to ignore for a week, but I did feel a sense of anticipation for seeing the content I had missed during this challenge.
What really made this challenge impossible was the fact that my main email account that I use for all my important emails is a Gmail account. Going one week without using that email account was an idea I dreaded, considering all the information I would miss out on and late emails that would need to be sent. While my Lehman email would suffice for keeping up with my classes, everything else goes through that Gmail account and the idea of not using it for a week makes me very nervous.
Alongside the email is YouTube, which I use daily as my main form of entertainment. Where many people watch Netflix or Cable daily, I watch content from my favorite creators on YouTube. Google purchased YouTube in 2006 for 1.65 billion dollars, meaning I had to go a week without YouTube which is an idea that is anything but relaxing. When switching to Netflix or Funimation to find something new to watch, when I couldn’t choose something I would switch to YouTube out of habit.
Had Facebook been the only company involved in this experiment, I most likely would have been able to complete without much hassle (unless Facebook made some acquisitions that I’m not aware of). But with Google services like Gmail and YouTube being such major presences in my daily life means i failed this challenge. Just attempting it made me anxious and that illustrates the extent to which these major corporations play a role in your life, and how they profit off of you.