Breaking Away From Google

One journalist’s quest to wean the tech behemoth out of his daily life.

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About the Show

If Then is a show about technology, society, and power. Each week, the hosts take you on a lively tour of the tech news that actually matters, from fake news in your Facebook feed to the algorithms that want your job to the Uber drivers who want a job with benefits. With news-making interviews of key tech-industry figures, fascinating academics, and top tech journalists, we explore not only how the technology that’s shaping our world works, but the ideas, ideologies, incentives, and biases that underlie it.

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Host

  • Aaron Mak is a Slate staff writer covering technology.

Episode Notes

Host Aaron Mak talks with journalist Nithin Coca about Coca’s attempt to abstain from using any Google products in his daily life. They discuss why he did it, the useful alternatives he found for specific apps, the quirks of using different tools abroad, and the surprising benefits he found in starting over. They also speculate on whether a typical consumer could sustainably do the same thing and what that means for the state of the industry.

After the interview, Shannon Palus joins Aaron for this week’s edition of “Don’t Close My Tabs.”

Stories discussed on the show:

Shannon’s Tab: “Who Would I Be Without Instagram?” by Tavi Gevinson

Aaron’s Tab: “A Brutal Murder, a Wearable Witness, and an Unlikely Suspect,” by Lauren Smiley

Podcast production by Justin D. Wright.

If you have a question or comment, you can email us at ifthen@slate.com.

If Then is presented by Slate and Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State UniversityNew America, and Slate. Future Tense explores the ways emerging technologies affect society, policy, and culture. To read more, follow us on Twitter and sign up for our weekly newsletter.