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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

December 12, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Opinion

Obsessing about Google

It’s safe to say that Google knows me better than either of my parents do. While my parents have always kept my wants and needs as two separate thoughts, Google somehow finds a way to give me both what I want and need at my favorite cost — free.
Every time Google launches a new service, I need it.
It all started back in 2004 when I got invited to Gmail, Google’s first significant step into any other competitive market aside from search. I didn’t need this new e-mail service, with my Hotmail and AOL accounts, but eventually Google’s clean interface and endless amount of space persuaded me to switch. It wasn’t that I needed Gmail, but Google made me want it. And if it was free, I wasn’t arguing.
I scoured message boards and forums searching for an invite when Google announced Google Wave. I sat at my computer repeatedly refreshing the Gmail homepage when Buzz was integrated. In those few moments when I finally receive the newest Google service, not even Taylor Swift walking through the door could pull me away from my MacBook Pro.
Google has managed to stir up a strange obsession across the Internet. It’s not that people are reliant on the fact that Google will provide a free alternative to several popular pay services online, but it’s the way Google frames its approach.
Maybe it’s the way Google goes about implementing different services. Driving around Mountain View, Calif. this summer, I was able to jump on Google’s free Wi-Fi to check up on Twitter and, of course, check-in on Foursquare. The fact that Google offers free Wi-Fi, something that people often take for granted nowadays, to an entire city for the low cost of nothing intrigues me and begs me to pose the question: What will Google do next?
Just last week, Google showed me once again how much they care for me. By giving me, and everyone else who uses Gmail, the ability to make phone calls from Google’s “G-Chat” is something I never would have paid for (cough, Skype). But now I find myself using it here and there to make calls to friends and parents. They were confused at first by my Google Voice number, but I used it for no reason other than it’s convenient and free. Google, you got me again. But this raises another question: Would you ever pay to use Google?
I doubt I would, but then again, it will only be a matter of time before Google gives me another free alternative.