We have to have realized by now, our content helps google and facebook sell ads, so it's an exchange: your data for a free service. How your data is used is really the pickle.
It's all in how much you can stand.
If you wanted to do everything that you do freely today on the internet, you need at least a decent server with a decent connection, and lots of time.
Think about the really basic stuff
- running your own email server
- running your own dns
- let's say you have a blog, so you need at least a web server, nothing fancy
- how about social? would you create a website where your friends can login and put up photos, videos? that web server needs an upgrade, you definitely want a DB now...
- talking about photos and videos, you need to setup your own cloud storage.
good luck. it's quite a chore to be "free". And I'm assuming you'll run in linux, if you are focused on windows it will also be some money out of your pocket.
As long as dropbox, google in general, and facebook keep decent policies (and facebook always is pushing it) I might still use those services. But after reading this today, I'm reminded of how fragile and temporary it can all be.
So, the day when I have to take some vacations and start my family's internet services may not be far away.