A girl wearing VR glasses
Featured Technology

Metaverse: A Horrifying Virtual Layer to the Real World

Can (or should) Facebook’s new “promise” offer more than a simple virtual extension to our existing abilities and functions? Can we even benefit from it?

Our physical and virtual realities are getting increasingly entwined. Internet of Things, VR, IR, tech-wearables, guides us to a new world with tech enveloping every aspect of our lives. From every interaction to the extent of our understanding of the world around us.

To add more to the submerging differences between sci-fi and reality, Meta (formerly known as Facebook) is introducing Metaverse.

So, what is Metaverse? And how could it push us off the verge of dissolving reality?

Introduction to the Hyper Reality

First introduced in the novel Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson in 1992 and sci-fi Player One, Metaverse is contrived as the next generation of social media and the internet.

The Facebook (meta) umbrella (Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp) has long been in the court for multiple scandals – From purposely contributing to instigating violence and political polarization to selling users’ data.

Image of Facebook homepage
Facebook

According to the current statistics, the majority of the blue social media users are demographically beyond the ideal target age. For example, Facebook’s core audience is aging, and its users are not as tech-enthusiasts and technologically literate as TikTok’s 1 billion monthly users.

Also Read: TikTok: The Unhealthy Glorification of Eating Disorder Amongst Teens

This lack of will to shift or upgrade to better technology and being part of the innovation have left Facebook little room to maneuver.

The other problem is, well, Meta itself. For Mark Zuckerberg, Meta is more than just re-branding. It is his chance to bring life to his lifelong obsession, a Metaverse.

Metaverse: The Escape Hatch

Kevin Roose describes Meta as “Zuckerberg’s escape hatch.”

A special headset (designed by the tech-company Oculus, owned by Zuckerberg) will give users access to a basic virtual space similar to one’s personal Facebook page.

Achieved through the combination of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), the only difference is that this is a virtual home – one’s own Horizon Home.

Users can interact with their contracts once they are in their own Horizon Home. So, for example, the conversation between WhatsApp and Facebook groups could seamlessly take place in your own Horizon Home.

“The metaverse is coming. If the last twenty years was amazing, the next twenty will seem nothing short of science fiction.”

Jensem Hunag, CEO of Nvidia

A Futuristic Technology

There are some undeniable positive aspects of the Metaverse.

 Hohenzollern Castle, in 3D on an iPhone.

Experience

The Metaverse is your chance to live out your fantasy. In just one evening, you will be battling enemies in hand-to-hand combat, be a part of your friend group discussion, along with surfboarding in the Bahamas. All realistic, but with a realization that you are completely safe at your home.

Expression

In the Metaverse, every user will have an Avatar, a 3-dimensional depiction of yourself, only in the way you want to see yourself. For example, did you want a more muscular body and 2-inches of more height? Well, you can craft your Avatar just like you want? Your Avatar can be of any gender, race, or creature of your choice.

The realities, Meta, aims to fabricate into avatars coupled with the sheer amount of choices you’ll get will allow you to free yourself from the body you are born into.

Teleportation

With a mere click on the browser, you can teleport yourself to your dream location, be it reality or fantasy in the Metaverse.

Knowledge

Metaverse will make googling seem old-fashion. You will learn about things while looking, touching, and experiencing them. For example, if you want to know more about Jupiter, you can land your Avatar on the virtual surface of Jupiter and see it for yourself.

Increased Productivity

In the Metaverse, you can always be in your most optimal environment be it in your office or sitting in a jungle. Moreover, advanced tech will help us input faster.

The Potential Down Side

Data Privacy

Facebook has been on the top for trust breaches when it comes to data privacy. Unfortunately, with our digital and real self engulfed to be one in the Metaverse, we will have to share almost everything with a company notoriously popular for selling data.

Cyber Glasses, Virtual, Virtual World, Virtual Glasses

Thining Line Between Virtual and Real World

The Metaverse will try to create user experiences as close (almost indistinguishable) to the real world as possible. However, it is a miracle, but also a bit alarming. Metaverse dawns upon the threat of losing touch with reality. For example, if you don’t like dogs, Metaverse can delete them from your realm.

With Metaverse, we will be surrendering the control of the sense of reality to other parties, whose primary goal is nothing to do without best interests but to reap as much profit from us as possible.

Moderation

Facebook has a number of warehouses filled with employees scanning and obstructing the spread of content from the absolute worst thing vicious users are posting- hate speech, murder, extremism, etc. But, carrying on this moderation in the complexities of the Metaverse, Meta will have to be immensely invasive.

Who are We?

Phone displaying how an old man looked as a boy.

Though Metaverse will enable us to craft our spaces and us as we always wanted ourselves, ensues a big question to what will happen to us. Our Avatar may have the perfect body, but as humans, we need to eat healthily, have a family, and there are very sleek chances that Metaverse will enable us to continue to do that at the end of the day.

Metaverse: The Horrifying Future

In a world powered by the Metaverse, we will not be able to pop up our headsets. Instead, we will need it for work, for increased productivity. We will need it because relative to our life in the Metaverse, our life will not be ideal!

By taking your headset off, you will go from being the charming prince avatar to seeing your actual self in the mirror, realizing the un-idealistic reality. This will create a vicious cycle of spending even more time in augmented reality, away from our real selves.

Also Read: The Dark Side: Why is Social Media Glorifying Mental Illness?

But, if the Metaverse takes over, our world will need nothing more than a good internet connection and a seat.

What’s Next

Metaverse is Facebook’s chance to regain its former glory in the tech world. But, the Metaverse is more than just social media. It is a universe that all big-tech companies are pouring millions of dollars into creating together. But, Facebook (meta) is just the one initiating it.