The Metaverse as utopian version of the real world?

The Metaverse; a concept that I personally wasn’t familiar with before attending this course. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t really think about the developments of technology and what impact it would have on us on a daily basis. That’s exactly why I took this course, trying to make a small change in that and learning about technology on the go.

During my quest for a subject for my final blog post, I stumbled upon the reading from Matthew Ball who explained what the metaverse is and how he thinks it will deploy itself over time. He explained it through the examples of the internet, apps, and mobile devices and instantly I could get a grasp on how this metaverse will become in the future. The reading is very good to follow, so if you also want to get to know the metaverse a bit you should definitely take a read.

Duursma VS Ball

The reading made me wonder about how this metaverse will ultimately take a place in society and I stumbled upon a blog post by Jarno Duursma (written in Dutch) who told us his vision of the metaverse. Where Ball was mostly positive about the impact the metaverse will have on our society, Duursma mostly asked questions about what the metaverse will contribute to society.

If you’re interested in how Meta sees the metaverse and if you have time; watch this video.

The end of traffic jams

Duursma made me think critically about the metaverse. Zuckerberg tells the world the metaverse will function as a second society. And while there are positive effects of this virtual society; no rubbish on the virtual streets, no virtual traffic jams, no long travel times from one place to the other for example. These concepts got me thinking that this metaverse could actually do something positive for our society (and maybe it will in the end). On the other hand, I am concerned about the way the metaverse will take place.

Our real society nowadays is run by the same people that will be on the metaverse. So, it could mean no traffic jams anymore, but this new societal platform will definitely also mean new problems that will be specific to this platform and will also affect the society that we live in now.

One company in charge of it all

So this metaverse can have a lot of different outcomes, and it is nice to wonder about what our future lives will look like. But personally, I’m a bit concerned by the fact that we have so many problems going on nowadays, it feels weird to add another societal influence to it. Of course, it’s nice to not have that much traffic daily, but the influence of the metaverse can cause much bigger problems like being overweight, mentally drifting further and further away from our body, and living in your bubble society with Meta distributing all the data on you.

If you read my previous post about the responsibility of the negative effects of Instagram, you can draw your own conclusions on wheter you’d like one company distributing all of this data to you and to be in charge of a whole metaverse. Or do you think this is not much of a difference between the fact that Meta nowadays also owns WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook which all are great influences of our lives as well? Or, do you think this is a bit more nuanced than how I portray it in this blog post?

Let me know in the comments!