Why would I, or anyone for that matter, go through the effort of self hosting their own web services when Google, Apple, and Microsoft all have powerful, free options? Are we paranoid? Bored? Masochistic? Maybe, but for many of us it comes down to being free.
To be clear, I'm not referring to free as in "free lunch" or "free beer" (though I wouldn't say no!). I'm talking about free as in freedom! I value, not only my privacy, but the ability to truly own my own data. If I decide to change service providers, I would like to take my content with me. If I decide I want to use my data for some personal project, I would like to do it on my own terms.
I realize most people don't care. Maybe because they don't have the means or the time to really do anything with their data, even if they owned it. Maybe because they just can't be bothered with it since its so easy to pick a tech giant and start giving everything up.
Is this bad?
Well, no. It makes sense. In fact the more I've been digging into self hosting and data privacy, the more I realize just how taxing (financially and mentally) it can be. It's certainly something that someone in a privileged position can do, but many will struggle.
I do believe privacy should be something we value, but I understand that it comes at a cost. I'm trying to strike a balance myself and hopefully find some systems and platforms that are easy and cheap enough to be feasible for any consumer. Not something that requires a background in IT to figure out.
Is this a hopeless cause? I hope not!
If anyone knows of privacy focused software that's easy and affordable, send it my way!