Slowly, gradually, before we even had time to realize it, the Frightful Five tech companies — Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet, the parent of Google — became essential and inescapable.
That was the view of the New York Times technology columnist Farhad Manjoo when he asked last week on Twitter how people would manage if they were forced to give up some of these companies’ products and services. The question prompted all sorts of uncomfortable squirming as people considered — really considered — what they would do. Which ones would they ditch if they had to? The answers did not come easily.
In his column this week, Farhad explains the order in which he would dump the companies. Spoiler alert: For Farhad, the last one to go would be Amazon, the e-commerce company that he now uses to order items of all kinds — and whose hardware, like the Amazon Echo speaker, he also uses for many household questions and tasks. Farhad also takes advantage of the handyman service that the company offers users who need assistance.
To help you figure out how deeply embedded the Frightful Five are in your life, Farhad came up with a quiz to identify which of the companies you might shed first. Spend a minute with it, and see if the result surprises you.
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