News. What happens when you want to dispatch yourselves from the Big Five: Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple? Is it possible? US-journalist Kashmir Hill set out for a 6-weeks period to figure out how to disconnect herself from the Big Five. She would disconnect from one tech giant a week – and the last week be disconnected from all at once. Her conclusion was, that it is difficult, almost impossible to live without the Big Five – at least as a US citizen – in order for her to fulfill her role in today’s world as an employee, mother, wife, car-driver, colleague and friend.
Kashmir Hill had a great deal of trouble disconnecting and freeing herself from using the Big Fives in her daily routines. The let go process was overwhelming and turned out not only to be an technical issue, but an obstacle for her to run her daily life. She soon discovered that things like shopping, communicating, getting a cap, getting by car navigating from A to B, listening to music, knowing where in the world she was – her location – more or less all depend on services made available from the big 5.
The positive experiences were the sound of silence and meeting with digital vegans – not to forget bringing back the Nokia 3310 into action. Having to call up people, and actually having a real conversations like in the years before having a smartphone.
The recipe of getting OFF
Kashmir Hill collaborated with a tech guy and made, what we all can use as our recipe to get out of the big five technically. Overall you can use an VPN to block all devices from being able to use the IP addresses owned by the big five.
Week 1: How to let go of Amazon (a hard one)
Result: Very difficult to give up Amazon. Too many companies are using an Amazon server.
Apps for daycare and tools for communication uses Amazons services in the US. And difficult to get around it.
Week 2: How to let go of FACE book (the easy one)
Result: Kashmir realised that she was not ready to let go of her life history. All the picture and connections that is stored in Facebook. Fortunately for her, when you erase your FaceBook account you have a month to regret. Missed Instagram for waste time! Alternative for Facebook and Instagram Kashmir tried out for using Mastodon – a social network where you toot instead of tweet, and no one uses you data. But being their alone didn´t make sense, which is the problem she realized trying to move to another community. She did not know anyone there.
Week 3: How to let go af Google (is easy)
Result: By waving goodbye to Google, Kashmir Hill had to let go off her: Browser, Calendar, Gmail – with all the history connected to her inbox. Google Maps, Google Docs, with all the impressing notes and reflection over life. ”TO GOOGLE” is a common term, and the difficult part in this is the habit of Google. All of these functions are replaceable, but life history will be lost.
Week 4: How to let go of Microsoft (the surprising one)
Result: Kashmir Hill had underestimated the value of Microsoft in her life. LinkedIn, Skype, The navigation system in her car, paying systems all depended of their services. So the week had lot of obstacles for daily routines.
Week 5: How to let go of Apple (easy)
Result: Kashmir found herself attached to her Iphone og IPad, and had a hard time dealing with texting on her Nokia 3310. When it comes to letting go of Apple products, it like letting go of an arm, it seems. Kashmir described it almost as a friend you have to lock into a locker.
Week 6: Letting everything go
Kashmir Hill’s conclusion is, that she had a rough time in order to life without the Big Five, which happened in the last week of this challenge to herself. It´s possible she concluded, but not without consequences. One thing you need for sure is a watch to know the time.
Did Kashmir succeed it getting unaddicted to the Big Five? She returned again after the 6 week period, but much more aware of her use of digital services and how almost all companies are entangled within the Big Five. I guess we can find her of all platforms today. Maybe taking a time out with her Nokia 3310 at times.