If you don’t live in a cabin in the woods with no access to technology, then chances are that you’ve heard plenty about the Metaverse. If that’s not the case, then we’ll happily provide a recap on it.
Long story short, the Metaverse is a concept that Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg is currently developing. It’s not his original idea, there are many ‘Metaverses’ from other companies as well, and some have already existed before he popularized the concept. Even though it sounds like something out of the famous science fiction authors books, it’s not that hard to understand. It’s basically a universe on the internet. It will replicate real life; shops, concerts, restaurants, workplaces, etc.
Moving on, here’s our take on the pros and cons of Metaverse. The first four pointers are pros, while the rest are cons.
Metaverse will be an immersive digital experience compared to how we interact with computers and the virtual world as of now. It’s an improvement of our modern digital experience, to something beyond screens. Metaverse is designed to be experienced in 3D, even if it’s accessible through monitors.
Reportedly, tech giants like Facebook are working on building a better model of VR glasses, ones that are slicker and less bulky than the existing models. This is meant to allow users to use the glasses for a longer period of time without experiencing discomfort.
Possessions and assets that users own in the Metaverse will be guaranteed to be one-of-a-kind, which means they can’t be copied or stolen. This is because the Metaverse is based on blockchain technology, and just like NFTS, assets will be ‘non-fungible’, which basically means ‘one-of-a-kind’.
Digital Real Estate
Companies and individuals will be able to purchase ‘digital real estate’ as a sort of investment. It works just like real estate in real life, a user can buy ‘land’ in the metaverse, hoping that it gains value. The consensus going around is that the land properties on Metaverse will be rentable, or they might have shops and goods that users can purchase.
Made Easy with Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency will be a fundamental asset and part of the Metaverse. This is beneficial because no matter which stores a user visits in the Metaverse, they can pay for goods with cryptocurrency. In real life, an individual would have to convert their country’s currency into the currency of the country they’re visiting. Buying things with crypto will also allow users to skip any additional fees.
On top of that, many metaverses that exist at the moment have their own native cryptocurrency, which users can use instead of real currency to buy the goods that exist in the particular space. The value of a currency within a metaverse can also increase if the particular metaverse grows in popularity.
Disconnected From ‘Reality’
While there are many positive changes that can be reaped from the expansion of the Metaverse, we cannot ignore the apparent negatives that it could bring with it. It’s good to be positive about changes, and growth. Change and progress are ultimately good in the long run. However, a realistic view of what’s happening right now will help us stay sober about the situation.
We should not be blinded or fooled by our biases, and we should always take into account both sides of a spectrum; the positive and the negative. Metaverse can ultimately disconnect us from the outside world. We can progressively become more and more attached to the virtual reality a Metaverse offers, and lose touch with what’s outside of it.
Being hooked on a device, in our rooms, spells an increase in isolation. No matter how connected we might be in our digital landscapes, we are still fundamentally isolating ourselves from actual real-time interactions. It is illusory in the end. This is another big negative that we must consider seriously when discussing topics such as the Metaverse.
Out of Touch
In the long run, when Metaverse is more established and has more and more features, long-term users could easily become out of touch with reality. This could signify multiple things:
- Users can become out of touch with real-life mechanisms and can feel alienated while using their bodies.
- Users can become out of touch with one-on-one interactions and real-life socialization.
- Users can become out of touch with events that are happening in real life.
There are many more factors that can stem from this negative, but most of them will be close or similar to the ones stated above.
Lack of Movement
Movement is life, and we all know that exercise equates to healthy living. It’s even been proven that sitting around or not doing exercise for long periods of time decreases a person’s life expectancy drastically. One of the major problems Metaverse could herald is that many users will be stuck moving in virtual reality, but less in the actual one.
They’ll be hooked to a device, won’t go outside as much, therefore exercise and actual movement can be easily neglected. Lack of movement can be deadly, especially for prolonged periods of time. Not only does it decrease life expectancy, it can also lead to many other problems as well.
Cardiac problems, weaker immune systems, obesity, and many other diseases could emerge from prolonged periods of no exercise.
Metaverse is still an incomplete project in the making, and while many Metaverses are popping up and are already being used (e.g. Decentraland) it is still too early to accurately speculate the many factors that evolve around it. For now, it’s best to keep a watchful eye, remain updated on the news, and not spend too much time speculating.