Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: SmartBear Blog, Elizabeth White, Yung Chou, Pat Romanski, Sanjay Uppal

Blog Feed Post

Is Cloud Killing Human Communication?

Social Interaction

Is the Cloud killing human communication? More specifically, are social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram mixed with texting and video conferencing killing day-to-day, face-to-face human interactions?

Reaction, Not Reason

Before we get into this, we need to preface by stating: we love Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and Pinterest. We love them because they serve as a megaphone for well placed content. Social media networks serve the business as an avenue for large scale PR and branded content distribution. This said, we have to admit, Cloud based social media applications provide us distraction over contemplation. Beyond any other social media network, Twitter provides us with the ability to react to news/comments in a near stream of conscious. For all of the benefits of Twitter, the micro blogging service has transformed our global culture into reactionary as opposed to contemplative.

As noted by Bill Keller, the former Executive Editor of The New York Times:


“But my inner worrywart wonders whether the new technologies overtaking us may be eroding characteristics that are essentially human: our ability to reflect, our pursuit of meaning, genuine empathy, a sense of community connected by something deeper than snark or political affinity.”

Our main issue with Twitter isn’t the social networks’ ability to provide the sound and fury. No, our main issue with Twitter is that the sound and fury which Twitter creates is taking us all away from doing the things which really matter – the things which make us all quintessentially human: introspection, contemplation, wisdom and knowledge.

Physical Communication Methods

Now, as some of you might notice, we aren’t talking about the method by which communication takes place – wording and language. While many people see the downfall of communication within the stunted words of Twitter and shorthand of texting, we disagree with this. Language has always changed. Crafted and morphed by events, writers and history, language has proven to be a living breathing mechanism, which, much like species, evolves over time. While we agree that “lol” or “gr8″ is a shaping force of verbal/written culture, we also see it as a cognitive reaction to the constraints placed around human interaction. That is to say, the medium through which we communicate has changed. Why should the physical language – the prose – be any different?

The promise of the Internet was/is the ability to provide the world at your fingertips. You want information? Just Google it. This is the promise of the Internet. It’s a curse in disguise.

The Downside of Instant Information

Memory. The downside of the instant information age is memory. When is the last time you had to figure out where you were going without using a smartphone or Garmen GPS device? With Google at your fingertips, why would you need to remember anything? Don’t know something? Just Google it. Our reliance on instant information is akin to us outsourcing our collective knowledge to the Cloud. Why keep anything internally when you can store everything externally?

While this sounds swell, the issue at hand isn’t access, it’s context. As noted by Meg Wolitzer in The Uncoupling access has been granted to, “the generation that had information, but no context. Butter, but no bread. Craving, but no longing.” Put it more blunt: access has killed need. Everything is now available in our Cloud world. Everything but longing and need.

It also has to be mentioned, access doesn’t mean knowledge. Access opens information yet it veils introspection, wisdom, complexity, insight and cognitive thought. At Solar VPS, we worry by exporting our sum of knowledge to the Cloud, we have also exported our collective ability to conduct critical thinking. Match this with Twitter and communication has become reactionary and more stupid even as information is more accessible than ever. Without ever having to remember anything and dissect it, we are losing sight of that which makes us human.

Instant access gives way to a lack of understanding and empathy within communication. This leads us to Cloud based video chatting services like Skype and Go To Meeting.

Cloud Empathy

Skype Cloud Video Chat

Have you ever gotten a sad or remote feeling post Skype conversation with a loved one? While video chatting with a friend over Skype, have you ever felt more removed from that person even while viewing their smile? This feeling is common.

The largest disconnect with Cloud based communications tools like Skype can be found in their lack of empathy. There are no statistics about it. There is no hard evidence to support the feeling yet the feeling is what matters. Cloud communication tools have the power to connect us to one another faster than ever. All the same, they lack the very thing which fosters human interaction and communication – warmth and feeling.


When mixed, social media communication, instant information and Cloud communication tools empower us while also tearing at the basic fibers of human interaction. We live in a world where expressing our thoughts to the globe is easier than ever but truly connecting with someone is harder than ever. The Cloud communication tools are there, but they aren’t getting the job done.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Solar VPS

Solar VPS lives the Parallels "Optimized Computing" vision. It has created a virtual infrastructure from client offerings, data facilities and management offices. Solar VPS works very closely with Parallels to provide the highest possible service and support to customers.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.