Opinion: Why I Am Pessimistic About The Metaverse

D Nelson Collins

Opinion

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I love new technologies. But for some reason, I’m not too keen on this whole Metaverse thing.

Here are some reasons why.

I still don’t have a flying car.

It might not be fair. But as a kid, I was promised we’d have flying cars by the time I could drive.

It never happened. I’m a little tired when companies start touting life-changing technology. The metaverse idea seems interesting, and maybe I’m on the outside looking in.

I don’t see the technology pushing us as far forward as other innovations.

The potential for corporate control.

Like most technologies, there is one company that tries to monopolize the industry.

The Metaverse has the potential to be a significant revenue driver. No matter how open source companies want to be, it’s going to get competitive.

Competition is good, but a significant company always comes to the forefront. Imagine hanging out in the Metaverse and seeing ads from Facebook or ads everywhere. Blah.

A virtual social media environment.

We’ve all spent time on social media. It’s an assortment of different ideas, and everyone’s trying to push their ideas. But what will a social media-based virtual reality world look like?

I fear it will be a strange place where internet bullying could take on a whole new form. You would have avatars running around attacking people.

Imagine spending time building up a persona. Then some random group from school or elsewhere starts bullying. Social media can be crude, and if people are allowed to hide their identity, it will become full of trolls.

A social network-fueled virtual world runs the risk of further propagating misinformation. Snake oil salesmen would run amok and make the Metaverse a scary place.

User avatar sponsorships.

I could see a time where popular users would become sponsored. It would cause users to be as thirsty as many are on social media for attention.

Marketers are always looking for new ways to reach consumers. We know that virtual personas would be no different. Companies would flock to the platform for influencers. It’s excellent for influencers but would create some strange complications for casual users.

If you are using the platform for friends and games, there could be a lot more fakeness than we see even now.

Catfishing goes to a new level.

The next idea that comes up next is how identities get handled. What if someone creates an entirely different avatar, you could be anyone. We already live in a world where catfishing is very easy.

It’s scary to think how much more people could be duped in a virtual world. If there are no safeguards to protect users, it could become a madhouse of fraud.

Social classes.

Who governs the economy of the Metaverse? It’s hard to think everyone is on a level playing field, especially if users make upgrades and changes.

I’d imagine that companies would attempt to provide the same things we have in the real world. But that would quickly create classes.

We would be in a virtual world where those with more wealth would get all the perks. While those with less or unwilling to spend on the platform would have to make do with less.

Not the Matrix.

The unfortunate thing is it’s not The Matrix. I never liked the idea of having to put on goggles to enter a virtual world. Especially not being able to engage our sense of taste, smell, or feeling in the world. I want to be immersed in the world. What I’d like is to be plugged into the matrix.

It’s a deep desire for it to feel real, not connected on virtual goggles. I know total immersion is a stupid idea, but I’m sure the technology is not far off.

Those are the reasons why I’m pessimistic about the Metaverse. But, like all new technologies, things happen quickly, and we’ll see how it goes.

If you’re bullish on the Metaverse, give me some ideas for why? If you are pessimistic as well, let me know if I missed any reasons?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading.

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I am a writer and entrepreneur with a passion for writing and sharing ideas. https://dncollins.com

Houston, TX
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