If Google doesn’t stop changing, I’m going to Bing

The Washington PostJuly 23, 2013 

Dear Google,

Lately, I’ve noticed a worrisome trend. You are becoming the very thing we fled to you to escape.

I have always hated change. Even in 2008, when everyone was getting excited about change as a general concept, I had to be talked into it. Especially online, change too often is synonymous with “replacing something I liked with something I like less.”

Facebook changes are one thing. Those just give more of our personal data to large corporations, and giving my personal data to large corporations has always been one of my hobbies and/or interests.

But Gmail interface changes we have to live with.

Google, do you remember how you got so popular? It was because the rest of the Internet was gross and cluttered with pop-ups and complicated interfaces. To get information, you had to pretend to be a P.G. Wodehouse character. “Jeeves,” you would say, “how do I fix a carburetor?” and Jeeves would attempt to guess what you were talking about.

Then came Google in its glorious, streamlined simplicity. If you wanted more information about something, you didn’t have to hack your way through the jungle of Yahoo or type a keyword into AOL. You just Googled it. Easy. Simple.

Then came Gmail, which offered lots of storage and great spam filtering. It was noteworthy for its lack of clutter. Everything was straightforward.

But now, Google, you are doing a good impression of that woman who is trying to use plastic surgery to transform herself into a big cat, possibly because her husband once made an offhand remark about “liking the look of those big cats,” or something.

And, hey, there are other places we can go. Bing’s out there. (Don’t laugh like that, Google. It’s unbecoming.) I have used Bing search on multiple occasions, and only one of them was because I opened Internet Explorer by mistake.

Don’t take me for granted, Google. I will get right off this bus that I am taking to pay you for Google Glass — see if I don’t!

Alexandra Petri, The Washington Post

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