What are the dangers of the metaverse, this fictional world combining the real and the virtual?

Contrary to popular belief, the metaverse (or metaverse) is unfortunately not safe. In addition, it can pose risks to both physical and mental health. It can also have a negative impact on the economy, society, children, etc. Here is exactly what you need to know about it.

The term “metaverse” has become very popular lately. Composed of the words meta and universe, it designates a completely different shared virtual world. In other words, it is a kind of parallel virtual world, thus mimicking the functioning of the real world. At present, this famous universe continues to develop.

It offers more and more possibilities, just like in real life. Apart from entertainment, you can now, for example, follow training courses, make all kinds of purchases, etc. We can even now invest. The catch is that, like the Internet, the metaverse is not without danger. Before embarking on it, it is better to discover all the risks that can be expected.

Metavers: a danger to physical health?

Currently, virtual reality and medicine get along well. VR applications dedicated to healthcare and surgery indeed do not stop to pluralize right now. However, that still doesn’t mean that the Metaverse in particular isn’t a physical health hazard.

In fact, according to some researchers, who consider it an intensely immersive world, it pushes users more to watch the screens. We are of course mainly talking about those of VR headsets. Moreover, it only exacerbates the compulsive use of various social media. And yet, all of this erodes sleep and overall health.

Increased dependence on the metaverse could also lead to lack of physical activity. It is true that there are now various VR and AR games and applications to stretch your legs. However, few players really care about them. On top of that, unless you have a VR mat, among other things, movement is very limited.

Do not hesitate to revisit our file on what it means to die in the metaverse.

A negative impact on mental health

In addition to being hazardous to physical health, the metaverse can also pose a mental health hazard. As one can become addicted to the virtual world, it may also erode the different relationships. Because of this, we then become more closed. In addition, it is possible that we suffer online harassment in this universe. However, this could have a negative influence on self-esteem.

The founder of Neuroscape, a center at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Dr. Adam Gazzaley, said he was optimistic about the patient experience in the metaverse. According to him, thanks to the latter, various people can now go to hospitals or clinics in a new way.

However, he did not fail to add that, virtual or not, the environments of the metaverse can have Negative consequences on users. Note that Neuroscape is studying how VR technology can be used to improve attention, memory and decision-making.

What about the effects of the metaverse on society?

During the conference Facebook Connect 2021which took place last October, the CEO of Meta, mark zuckerberg, announced that the Metaverse aims to bring different people together like never before. For this, he erase gradually the borders separating the real world from the virtual world.

Of course, the virtual universe thereby helps the various users to connect with each other. The problem is that by removing the borders between the two worlds, it unfortunately encourages a society always more disconnected reality. And yet, she already lives at the moment partly on her smartphone.

Moreover, to these worries of connection with reality are added all sorts of additional issues. We count, among other things, the way in which we will teach children to use these technologies in moderation. It must be said that the metaverse leads to a disturbed social life.

metaverse danger

What about the danger of the metaverse for the economy?

By creating the metaverse, VR and AR professionals create a new world. This means they develop the economy using goods and services that do not yet exist. Moreover, they inspire the generation of new companies along the way. The amount of investment in this famous virtual world continues to increase.

However, since it is a real life extension of the various users, they will tend to access it all the time. And yet, this could lead to significant energy consumption. Also, for those who are still unaware, the Netflix streaming service alone occupies approximately 15% global bandwidth.

If millions, even billions of users in the world join the metaverse at the same time, we can therefore already imagine how saturated the latter could be. Finally, given that the various purchases will generally be made in linephysical stores and shops will struggle to operate properly.

Children are also concerned

The dangers of the metaverse aren’t just for adults. Since everyone can access it, toddlers can also do. As mentioned above, however, parents may find it difficult to regulate the use of the various technologies linked to this virtual world by their children.

It is true that, for the current Internet, some of them use centralized monitoring systems to limit the time of use of the various connected devices. The same is true for access to specific websites. Although these systems can be considered for the metaverse, it is not yet certain that they will work with all the virtual applications available there.

And yet, by staying all the time in this virtual universe, every child is exposed to a psychological danger. If he isolates himself there, he may suffer harassment or all kinds of violence, among other things. On the other hand, however, a ban can also have a negative impact on the psychological health of the toddler. It could be that he feels excluded compared to the others, who have the possibility of accessing the metaverse.

metaverse danger

A world not protected against scams

Since the metaverse is open to everyone, just like the current Internet, scammers can also access it, which represents a real danger for users, especially young people. They can even face aggressors and criminals there.

If more and more VR and AR professionals, like Meta, are embarking on the creation of this famous parallel virtual world, it is above all for business. Since it is a question of money and transactions, we are mainly dealing with financial scams. Unless the fictional universe is heavily regulated, money can be lost as a result.

It should also be noted that, in the metaverse, the different users are of course represented by avatars. These are, of course, generally customizable at will, and can therefore look a lot like their creators. Despite this, it is still difficult, even impossible to recognize the people behind them. It may even be an artificial intelligence. All this makes the virtual space even more conducive to scams.

What are the possible solutions to avoid these dangers of the metaverse?

In short, the metaverse really presents a danger for the various users. And yet, we can no longer avoid its launch. Solutions must therefore be considered to reduce the risks as much as possible, especially for young people.

In this regard, many experts and companies are proposing to put in place laws and new regulations to govern this shared virtual world. According to them, all things that are not allowed in the real world must also be criminalized in this fictional space.

Some civil society organizations are also calling on governments, as well as other stakeholders to address the human rights in the world of virtual and augmented reality.

According to technology and human rights expert called Heller, one cannot simply apply the rules of social media usage in the metaverse. Policies and specific terms of service must be put in place.

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What are the dangers of the metaverse, this fictional world combining the real and the virtual?

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