An alternate (timeline) view of what happen if company as dominant-to-our-life as Google & Facebook, turn back their shoulder against us.
Thanks to all the technological advancements, today our life is pretty much getting helped from those technologies: from as simple as weather prediction, to something more complicated, such as: how we communicate and interact to others, how we are going to another place we never been there before without getting lost, how we find something on the Internet, how we backup our photos and videos, how we find jobs, how we find friends, how we make ourselves as an Internet artist, how we monetize the Internet and so on and so forth. There’s plenty other scenarios for sure. More or less, now we are getting more and more dependent on all these services.
Sample case: Google & Facebook – 2 companies that dominate our lives
Google, starts with search engine, nowadays pretty much covers all those services I mentioned above: Google Search, Google Assistant, Google Maps, Google Photos, YouTube while Facebook dominates our social life and communication: Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp.
The services these companies provide are not just to help us, but in some cases they can even earned us an income, such as YouTube and Instagram – where you can be the content providers and earning income from them, making our ties to them even tighter and tighter.
Google and Facebook are examples of companies giving us all their services for free (despite recent issues with privacy), there are other companies that do the same thing: giving their services for zero dollar!
What if they start charging fees for their services? Will that ever happen?
With last few years and recent incidents where these giving-free-services companies are getting scrutinized, caught on multi anti-trust cases and fined by regulators, I am just afraid. as user who use and consume their free services for granted, that one day these companies may turn their back against me and tell: Since you people make it difficult, then we (the companies) are going to start charging for our free services.
Would you imagine that one day Google starts charging in-app purchases or subscription fee for using Google Maps and Google Search and Facebook starts charging subscription to use their WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook?
Will you pay for it? What you can do?
For me, that depends on the price offered but most likely I’ll find alternatives out there which are better and cheaper.
While I have no answer if that scenario will ever happen, it may or it may not, but I can share you what I am doing to avoid such a disaster to your life, by becoming a platform agnostic user. And this is applicable not only to companies giving out free services, but also to all companies out there.
Platform agnostic user means that you try not to tie yourself to any single platform, but to always look for alternatives. In the process, not only you get used to find (better) alternatives, but also you may be surprised to find the alternatives runs/works much better than the one you are using.
Why I’m telling you this, is to get ready and to always be ready for changes. By not sticking yourself to one particular company for their services, you reduce the chance of getting doomed by these companies whenever they are turning against us (Eg: charging [higher] fees or if they go bankrupt).
These are some alternatives:
Not a complete exhaustive list, but at least to give you some ideas there are alternatives out there:
Browser: Google Chrome (dominant), Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari.
Computer: Apple Macbook (quite dominant), Microsoft Surface, Asus, Samsung and plenty others.
Computer OS: Windows (dominant), Mac OS (pricey hardware), Linux.
Maps: Google Maps (dominant), Bing Maps, Apple Maps, Citymapper.
Smartphone: Apple (dominant & pricey), Google, Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi.
Social media: Facebook & Instagram (dominant), SnapChat, Pinterest.
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