5 reasons why no one cares about the Metaverse

Ever since Facebook rebranded itself as Meta, the tech industry has been talking about the idea of ​​a metaverse, a kind of digital utopia where you can be and do whatever you want. The idea is really interesting and enthusiasts and content creators from all over the world seem to be expressing their thoughts on its future.

However, the average user doesn’t seem to care at all about the metaverse, and the crash in Meta stock doesn’t inspire much confidence either. In this article we will see why most people are not interested in this concept.

1. Poor graphics and lack of immersion

From the beginning, Meta made a big bet: it made promises too big to be kept in a reasonable amount of time. When we think of the metaverse, we imagine an immersive virtual world, completely free from human limitations.

As Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg put it, “…the dream was to feel present with the people we care about.” Isn’t this the latest promise of technology? To get together with anyone, be able to teleport anywhere and create and experience anything? “.

Given these expectations, it’s no surprise that people reacted negatively when Zuckerberg posted the following photo, showing what appear to be early renders of the metaverse.

For context, building an average AAA game in a limited scope takes two to five years or more. The metaverse is much, much broader in scope. It attempts to succeed the internet as we know it and in some cases replaces the real world.

The ultimate goal is for you to do almost everything virtually, like shopping, socializing, working, playing, learning and creating. But in its current state, it does none of that.

The amount of human labor and time required to create such a world is unfathomable and certainly not something that can be built in a few years. Some people even argue that chasing the metaverse is pointless because technology is ahead of its time.

2. VR headsets are expensive and bulky

The second problem with the metaverse is that it’s still not accessible to most people. Current VR headsets are too expensive, not entirely comfortable, and difficult to store and transport.

Sure, the design will inevitably improve over time, but the price will only come down if the technology is adopted by the masses and production soars. And so far, there’s not a lot of hard data showing a trend change.

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Image credit: Damir Khabirov/Shutterstock

The ultimate goal is to reduce the size of VR headsets to a simple pair of glasses, similar to the ones you wear today. This would solve many problems; for example, you could use your goggles as an augmented reality device in the real world and switch to virtual reality when you want to return to the metaverse.

The glasses will also be much lighter and less tiring than today’s bulky VR headsets, and storage space won’t be an issue either since you’ll only need a regular glasses case. For now, VR headsets aren’t affordable for most people.

3. Security and privacy issues

Another reason people shy away from the metaverse idea is the inevitable security and privacy risks it will bring, especially when its biggest proponent, Meta, has a long history filled with countless scandals and failed to protect user privacy repeatedly.

Let’s also not forget that for a VR headset to work, it needs to constantly listen to your voice, track your eye movements, and read your facial expressions. Other complementary gadgets can track the movements of your hands and body and get to know your overall physique.

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This is necessary for your metaverse avatar to look realistic and accurately represent you, but it also means that companies can now collect incredible amounts of sensitive biometric data. For example, they can pinpoint your behavior patterns and learn what kinds of things you react to positively or negatively, and use that data to make dangerously targeted ads more personalized.

Add to that the data they already have about you, like your age, location, gender, social circles, ethnicity, browsing history, and consumption habits, and you’ll understand why the metaverse is scary, especially if Meta becomes a monopoly in it. space.

4. Health and Safety Issues

It’s not just your privacy that’s at risk, but your health, safety, and general well-being as well. If successful, the Metaverse will be where most of us end up spending most of our time. And it’s mentally unhealthy for the same reasons as social media.

Only this time it’s even worse. The metaverse is perhaps more dangerous than social media because it is exponentially more stimulating and therefore more addictive. After all, if you can always be in an endlessly stimulating environment, why bother with the real world?

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The metaverse is also bad for your physical health. Instead of looking at a desktop or mobile phone screen inches from you, a VR headset is worn on your face, meaning the screen inside is very close to your eyes, which can be unhealthy at long term.

We also don’t know how VR headsets will suit people with visual impairments and disabilities like photosensitive epilepsy. After all, if your mission is to get everyone into the metaverse, extra care will need to be taken to make devices more accessible.

5. Increased risk of cyberbullying and harassment

Harassment and cyberbullying is already a big problem on the internet, but in the metaverse its effects will be much more severe. Remember that the purpose of the metaverse is to make you feel more present, and while this is great for positive experiences, it has the consequence of making negative experiences more anxious.

Hate speech, sexual harassment, and death threats are much more traumatic in the metaverse as you can see and hear the person in front of you, instead of just getting messages from them on social media or app messaging.

The metaverse is as dangerous as it is exciting, and people are rightfully concerned about its effects on the future of our society. For Gen Z and beyond, the metaverse could be a part of life the same way social media is a part of millennial life.

The only difference is that the metaverse offers all sorts of new challenges that our society has never faced before, and what should be alarming is how the companies that support it rarely prioritize people over bottom line.

For now, you have the luxury of avoiding the metaverse, but eventually that will be unavoidable. At best, it can solve many of the problems we face today. But at worst, it can turn modern society into a full-blown dystopia, while charging you a monthly subscription to live in it.

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