The cloud was supposed to make everything simpler for consumers and businesses: no more worrying about hardware requirements, for example, or local file storage. But that’s not the case. According to a new survey by Virgin Digital Help, cloud computing is stressing people out. Some 11.4 percent of 210 respondents said the cloud was a source of stress, second only to Wi-Fi at 12.4 percent and just ahead of home networking and syncing devices at 10 percent. Desktops, laptops and tablets followed in fourth place with 8.6 percent, then social networking with 6.7 percent. Overall, 60.5 percent of respondents said that some form of technology stressed them out in daily life. Around 18.6 percent cited the constantly changing nature of technology as a top concern, followed by “compatibility issues” at 15.2 percent, “It doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do” at 14.8 percent, and fears of unreliability at 10.5 percent. Some 31.9 percent of respondents cited technology providers’ customer service as particularly unhelpful, and 17.6 percent called out “confusing software updates” and rapid release cycles as a source of annoyance and, presumably, anxiety. “Technical mumbo jumbo” and “confusing privacy practices” came in with 11.9 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively. A full 10 percent termed technology providers as “untrustworthy.” Around 78.1 percent of respondents fell into the 18-34-year-old demographic, with responses collected via social networking (Twitter and Facebook), email and phone over the course of June 2012. Whether or not the cloud stresses out your average user, the fact remains that IT vendors of all persuasions have decided on it as their transmission medium going forward. Productivity tools, emails, games, and even analytics software have become increasingly cloud-based; and while those companies tout the superiority of cloud software over locally-stored equivalents, it seems this brave new paradigm doesn’t come without its aggravations for some.   Image: Phatic-Photography/