I just attended Dreamforce, the annual conference for Salesforce, where the topic was all about “cloud, cloud, cloud.” The whole conference was exhilarating and motivating which got me thinking about the future in a virtual sense.
Marc Benioff’s keynote was a continuous thread of customer success stories featuring Salesforce software through the cloud. Coca Cola presented a video of the futuristic way of ordering a Coke (walking up to machine and scanning your phone). Toyota showcased how a car will soon be like a “friend” who drives for you.
Coca Cola’s presentation: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsBeKQ7h9R0>
Alex Williams of TechCrunch reported on the conference“Here’s the switch we are seeing. We are starting to see how society will some day interact more with software than people. Everything will be a node. That future is emerging now as we see how the cloud is used to direct machines. Like the self-driving car Benioff featured in his keynote this morning.”
While everything about cloud communication is exciting and thrilling, it concerns me we may become a society that is too connected to our devices. The internet, social media and our mobile devices should enable our connection to others at all times. We plug into our devices everyday so when do we really log off? We are constantly connecting to people online but are we really closer to people now?
The answer is that we are constantly in communication whether it be through nonverbal language , written language or speaking. Communicating with someone involves some type of common understanding of the issue or topic at hand. When you are behind a computer screen or on the telephone, so much is lost in that message. Feelings of a topic are lost when all you have to do is answer questions on a computer screen. As the receiver of information, we do not get to see how that person felt about a certain issue.
This is why communication through email, text or social media is so easy for everyone but does it really mean we are more connected now than ever?
I would have to disagree and say we are un-connected more than ever. Everything we say is changed, cleaned-up or sugar-coded through an email, text message or facebook post. It is so easy to portray yourself as anything you’d like behind a screen but getting in front of someone is a whole nother’ ball game.
I don’t think a “car-friend” can offer much to me when I have a bad day.