Thanks Sandy, I’m Diversifying Now

Did you ever have one of those moments when you realized that you’ve been sitting in the same place for so long that you stopped caring about moving?

I had one of those moments a few weeks ago when I was sitting in the dark after Superstorm Sandy took out our power. It wasn’t the power outage itself that caused this sudden realization, it was when I went to call the power company and add us to the growing list of houses without power and my data network connection was out.

That’s right the little 4G icon was not there, not even a 3G, and without it my initial call didn’t go through as I couldn’t access the Google Voice system.

That’s when it struck me, not only had I become reliant on Google Voice, but a quick rundown in my head revealed that I am using pretty much just Google products and almost nothing else. The thought process didn’t stop there though, I also realized just how much I’m dependent on that data connection and the need for it to power what I do with my phone.

I have always prided myself on exploring software, figuring out problems and being willing to not “run with the crowd,” and what I began to realize is that I had become the very thing I had been trying to avoid from the word go.

So, where to begin? How about with the immediate need? As soon as I was able to get some kind of data connection up and running I did a quick search and got Twitter updates from the power company to start showing up as SMS messages – no more data connection dependency. It’s a great option and I’m now using it to follow selected brands and individuals, instead of bringing up a Twitter client I just wait for the SMS – it feels more efficient this way and I know I’m not going to miss something.

That was an easy one, the more difficult and potential painful part then started and is still going – moving beyond the Google-sphere I’ve grown accustom to and diversifying my tools and applications.

This isn’t a quest to remove all of Google from my life, it’s about picking a tool that will do the job well enough that I don’t have to use something from Google. Will I still use Google products? Yes. Will I be all in with Google going forward? No, that’s the challenge and the goal.

First up, my browser. I’ve been a Chrome user almost since the day it hit the Internet but if I’m going to break my Google dependency I feel I should start at the core. I’ve been experimenting and trying things out and will post about my choice in the coming days.

So, do you spread yourself around or are you ‘all in’ with just one company? Have you kicked the Google habit entirely? I’d be interested in what you’re using and how you did it.