27 June, 2013

Why I said bye to Google Search

I guess it goes without saying: Google is amazing. I mean, I'm writing this on Blogger, I probably would go to all the wrong places most of the time if it wasn't for Maps (it's not even me being unfamiliar with Glasgow... it's just that I get disorientated easily, even in a city where it ain't easy to get lost), and Translate saves my everyday life too (try constantly speaking two languages... you'll either become a bilingual genius, or someone like me who always forgets how to say one word or another). However, I've recently changed my default search engine settings and now use the funnily named DuckDuckGo. Why so?

Of course, it could be interpreted as the ultimate manifestation of missing my ex-boyfriend. It was him who introduced me to DuckDuckGo, and I got used to it while spending time at his place. But ultimately, I just like the idea of real privacy. It's good to know my websurfing isn't tracked and the results I get when entering my search don't depend on my previous ones. Because that's exactly what Google Search does, it follows your every step and then advertises the stuff you already want (effectively: I bought a pair of shoes from Clarks just because I kept on seeing them everywhere, and a friend of mine bought some make-up brushes after the same kind of temptations), and it creates a bubble around you: your search results only reinforce your beliefs and what not. I'm done with that.

One of the good things is, if I miss Google Search, I can always start my enquiry with !g, and that will automatically search in Google. Or if I'm looking for a video, I'll use !yt, a wiki article – !w. Such an easy direct search in specific websites using bangs is one of the DuckDuckGo features I love the most so far.

I also managed to do the impossible: two of my friends are trying this search engine as well! And only one of them is a computer geek. It's normally hard to convince the other one about anything, so her doing this definitely means a lot. And makes me happy about spreading the good word!

P.S. The pair of Oxford shoes I mentioned, so this whole post doesn't look and sound too serious.

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