A few days ago I reached for my iPad. Glancing down at the mail icon, I was surprised to find that I had about 30 unread messages. I'm usually really good a checking my email as it comes in; I'm admittedly not as good at actually following up with that email. I've got my email account set up on my phone and my computer too and it usually only takes me a couple minutes to check an email so I was a bit bewildered why I had so many that were unread. After a few minutes I realized that all of them were from my gmail account.
A few years ago I purchased my first domain (cthayes.com) and started creating my first website. I wanted to setup an email account to use my new domain - I didn't know it then but this was the start of me caring about my online identity. I still liked gmail so I hosted the email at my domain registrar but forwarded everything to my gmail account (this was prior to Google Apps) and everything was great ... for a while.
Everything changed when I bought my first iPhone and entered the pearly gates of the Apple ecosystem; it was not long after that I bought my first Mac. After that I started using native apps instead of their web counterparts - Apple mail instead of gmail's web interface - and because of that I no longer had a reason to forward my own email to gmail.
In the years since then I started using my new email to sign up for things, updated most of my contact info and told all my friends to use the new one. Naturally, my usage of gmail has dwindled to next to nothing. Those 30 unread messages were mostly from linked in and spamy newsletters I don't care about. So I deleted my gmail account.
However, I did not stop there. I don't use Google+, docs or calendar. There is a Mac app for maps now and last year I even stopped using Google Analytics in favour of Open Web Analytics. It wasn't a far leap to just ditch my entire Google account altogether.