Great article! It’s the first I’ve read on Medium. I share you concerns, and I agree that it’s very hard (probably impossible) to be a purist, especially if you have a personal or professional need to interact with real people.
I used to detest Microsoft, but I’ve warmed up slightly, partly as a counterpoint to Google and Facebook. I’ve used Ubuntu almost exclusively (a shrinking list of things I do require Windows) at home for about eight years now, and I’ve never seen a need to look back. But it can be tough; when I updated from Windows 8 to 8.1, it destroyed my dual boot. And while I could fix that, the same thing happened again with the update to 10, which also apparently changed some BIOS settings that affect Linux.
The main other thing I do is a quick mental cost/benefit analysis with each new “free” app, setting or service I use. Some are worth the loss of privacy (Google Maps navigation, for example), while many others (flashlight app, anyone?) are not. Whenever I see an ad directed to the Walmart gun purchaser (that’s so not me), I declare a tiny victory.