A few months ago I talked about online privacy, and how I’d been trying to give up Big Tech software like Facebook and Google products. Here’s a quick update on how that’s going.

On Google: I still use one gmail account, though it’s no longer my primary email address. I use Google Drive only for a few files (spreadsheets) that I like to edit from my phone, but that’s it. I still use Android, although I’m considering getting an iPhone later this year. I read that since Apple makes their money from selling (expensive) hardware, they don’t need to exploit your privacy for advertising as much as Google, but I’ll look into that more before making a final decision. I don’t use Google search or Chrome at all. So I don’t think Google is getting much of my online data anymore, which I think is a win!

Twitter used to be a massive time sink for me, and I’m happy to say that I no longer use it. I’ve switched to Mastodon instead, and I even host my own instance! Follow me at https://toot.sg/@mike. There are still some Twitter accounts I like to read, so for that I’ve converted my timeline to an RSS feed using a script I wrote myself (sorry, not open source yet - but there’s similar things on GitHub). I’ve also set up a script to crosspost my own posts from Mastodon to Twitter, just in case anyone reads them.

I don’t have Facebook or Messenger installed on my phone anymore. I still browse Facebook quite a bit using the web (mobile web) version, but that’s acceptable to me since it’s the main way I keep in touch with my family.

Another cool thing I’ve discovered since last time is alternative frontends, a list of alternative frontends to various sites that preserve your privacy while retaining most of the same features. I haven’t tried them out yet, but definitely plan to!

And finally, I love my Miniflux feed. It’s made a huge difference to how (and how much) I use my phone, and I feel like I have so much more control over what content I consume. Can’t recommend it enough.