I held out for as long as I could.
I transferred music files to flash drives, deleted massive photo files, and purged outdated email newsletters clogging my storage. Every email from Groupon went into the trash and was permanently deleted. No more chances to go back and “soak up savings.” I was on top of it. The trash button became my friend; archiving the enemy. This is what using Google’s free email service in 2018 looked like for me.
But I couldn’t win — a red banner above my Gmail inbox threatened to cut off my inbound emails and I was tired of constantly deleting everything. The whole point of my personal email was to have a record of everything. I might have a newsletter addiction, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to use my email archive.
I clicked the blaring, red warning and succumbed to paying for something that is usually “free” in exchange for targeted advertising and data about the online habits of someone in my demographic. Now I’m essentially paying companies like Google to make money off me.
I’d been so cocky for 12 years, thinking I could string out my free 15 GB of free Google Drive storage (that includes my emails, Documents, Sheets, Photos — my entire online life, basically). The good times had come to an end and it looked like shelling out nearly $24 a year to a company that makes $109.65 billion in annual revenue.
I know it’s not just me giving in reluctantly to the auto-subscription. My boyfriend recently hit the same Gmail storage roadblock and started forwarding emails to his various work accounts. My mom had to cough up the nearly $2 monthly charge for her personal email account last week.
These guys feel my frustration.
Lol I’m so mad my gmail storage is full so I legit can’t receive any emails until I start deleting them on my laptop or until I buy extra storage wtf I hate technology and SPAM EMAILS
— Zan (@ZanyDany_) March 4, 2018
Digging through 14 years of messages because my gmail account is finally full.
— Chuck McShane (@chuckmcshane) February 22, 2018
Even on my iPhone I relented to the endless pressure from iCloud to buy more storage space. Again the 5 free GB couldn’t keep up with the realities of my digital life. After seven years of iPhone ownership it was time to pay up. Luckily that meant charging just under $1 a month for 50 GB of online storage, but still I’m cheap and it adds up.
So now the two of the biggest tech companies get $1.99 and 99 cents from me every month. It’s worth it admittedly, but I can’t get over that I’m doing what both companies want me to do — pay them for a service that could be free if I didn’t rely on them so much.
Fine take my money, you greedy suckers. You already track my every move.