Well see, this is what I want to avoid. I want true freedom from greedy money grubbers prying into my personal doings.
I have become a member of Diaspora and they claim to be open and honest about your privacy. That's all fine and good but Diaspora is a closed system and it took me over a year to get in after I requested access.
I have facebook despite the fact that I hate them for the same reasons I hate google. But, my family, my kids and even my grandkids are on facebook and they use it frequently. They post photos and pour out their lives there and that's how I get to see their photos and peek into their lives. They are going to do it no matter what I tell them about privacy so I might as well follow them and see the things they post. I can't expect them to flood my email with photos and detailed accounts of their daily life..
But yeah, I want secure, private email. I would like a blog too. I looked at Wordpress and their privacy options suck. They don't allow you to restrict your blog audience and they don't allow you to delete your account if you decide to pack it up and quit. And they hound you for $$ for more features. They nickel and dime you to death for each and every little option. Tumbler is about the same. None of the blogging sites I've seen give you fine grained controls or privacy options. Blogger came about as close as you could get but then we're back to that awful choice of trading away your privacy to them. NONE of them allow you the option to prevent google or other search engines from indexing the contents. Sometimes people just want to share with family & close friends but not the rest of the world.
I refuse to sign up for or be a part of Google+. That is a stalker's wet dream come true. I joined early on through an invite and I was appalled at the lack of control you have. You can't block creepy people. Creepy people can add you to their circles and you can not remove yourself from them. For instance, some creep could find me on Google+ and add me to a circle he has created such as "Women I want to rape, murder and dismember".. No matter what I say or do, I can not stop this person from adding me or watching me on their lovely social network. In reality, several disgusting, gross men added me into circles they had created, without asking me if they could. I complained and told them to remove me. They told me things like "Chill out bitch, I'm just checkin you out.".. I complained to google about these people and google told me all I can do is prevent them from commenting on my posts but I can not prevent them from seeing my profile or reading anything I post to "public". This is what pushed me to delete my Google+ account completely.
I've looked at DuckDuckGo and I may start using it. Bing sucks. Google search has turned crappy after the inclusion of google+ into google search.
I just can't find many good reasons to continue using google search. It's just not a good search engine anymore, it's tainted and then there's the privacy problem.
Picasa, I never liked it. I don't like Flickr either. Photobucket and all the rest, I just don't like them, at all. I would like to have a place where I can share photos I take with my family but where I maintain total control over who can access it. Private should mean private. Private shouldn't mean partially private.
I did figure out how to install TOR on my iPhone. I like that by using TOR I am subverting their greedy money machine, to a degree. I had an adblocker on my iPhone and that helps, a little. But I want more privacy enhancements on it too. On my desktop system I have Ghostery, adblock+ and several other privacy enhancers installed though I don't use TOR on my desktop, it's just too slow.
So I guess you are right in that I shouldn't equate a pay system with a righteous system. I don't mind paying money for services, just as long as they totally respect my privacy. I would be more than happy to pay for privacy, if that's what it takes. But if I can find free services that are truly free and they provide me with respect for my rights and my privacy, I would certainly look into them and consider them as well.
Enough is enough. I've had it with the greedsters, the parasitical banksters, the predatory capitalists, and the profiteering corporations. I've had it with the 1%'ers and I want a divorce from the rotten, broken relationship. I'm open to constructive suggestions.