How to delete your Google data
January 4, 2020
Maybe you don't want to watch any more of those "how to replace a toilet" videos you had to look up last summer, but YouTube is still recommending them. Or maybe you listened to "Macarena" by Los Del Rio on Google Play to prove a point, but now you're over it. How do you make Google forget?
We know Google collects lots of data about how we use their services. Google separates that data into three categories: YouTube search and watched videos; Maps/GPS location info and Web & App Activity.
Those first two are self-explanatory, but maybe not Web & App Activity. Web & App Activity includes voice and audio data from the Google assistant, data collected from apps synced to your Google account and your Google Chrome browsing history.
Google gives you a lot of control over how long it keeps your data, so if you'd like Google's recommendations to be relevant to whatever you're into now, here's how to delete your past.
Open a web browser and sign in to your Google account. Click on your picture or the initial for your account in the upper right corner and click on Manage your Google Account. Under Privacy & personalization, click on Manage your data & personalization.
Under Activity controls, you'll see Web & App Activity, Location History, and YouTube History. Except for Location History, click on any control and then click on MANAGE ACTIVITY. Click Choose to delete automatically and set how long you want Google to keep your data.
Your Location History is an all or nothing proposition. When you click on your Location History activity control, down at the bottom right corner of the screen, you'll see an icon of a trash can. Click on the trash can and the only option is to delete all of your Location Tracking history. Deleting it all might not be a bad idea from a privacy perspective, but your search results and your YouTube choices are probably not much influenced by your location history.
More online slang and acronyms
What, you thought I covered everything in the last issue? Nope. Here are more acronyms and hashtags used in visual (Instagram) and short text communications.
*$: Starbucks. Because it's too hard or takes too long to tell someone to meet at Starbucks, just text *$ to them and they'll know what you mean. I probably wouldn't, but they will. Probably.
AFAIK: As far as I know. Use it when you're not sure or are guessing. Who can tell?
ATM: At the moment. Usually your status, as in "I'm shoveling the driveway, again, ATM."
CMIIW: Correct me if I'm wrong. Again, use it when you're not sure or are guessing. And don't worry, the internet people will correct you if you're wrong.
DFTBA: Don't forget to be awesome. One of my favorites because sometimes we need to be reminded to be awesome.
DL: Down low. When you want to keep something a secret, you ask people to keep it on the down-low. I guess if you hold it up high in the air, they could see it or something?
HTH: Hope this helps. Use it when offering advice or solutions, can also be used sarcastically. But you'd never do that.
IIRC: If I remember correctly. Use it even when you're sure you're right, but you don't want to come off as a know-it-all.
LMK: Let me know. When something can't be decided at the moment, you can agree to put it off with a quick LMK.
Meme: The word meme is pre-internet and originally referred to various cultural elements passed down from one generation to another. A meme could be a song, an image or an idea. Online, a meme is usually an image or short video that people copy, alter and pass on.
OIC: Oh, I see. Use it when you understand some bit of new information presented to you. Or, again, can be used sarcastically.
YAGNI: You ain't gonna need it. When someone offers to bring the volleyball net to the snowman building competition, reply with YAGNI.
Olden days of yore...
Before Instagram, I used to waste so much time sitting around imagining what my friends' food looked like.