Carol Reed, Pahrump, NV
Interesting. I have used gmail for nearly a decade with no problems. Two things. I refused the last appearance upgrade, which I am aware will go away someday. The other is that Google+ scares me for the very reasons you stated. Regular old Google which is still working has not been quite so invasive. Facebook is much more annoying in that regard. Yahoo is a total pest and Hotmail has the worst spam filters.
One thing about most businesses these days. Whatever they 'give' you, they will take something back at least threefold. I have stopped sharing personal opinions or posting pictures, especially about my shop and what's in it. Who knows who reads all these things. Certainly more people than we can imagine. And for more reasons than we can imagine, way beyond what we have intended. Just sayin....