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Unveiling the Dark Side of Metaverse: Harms and Realities

The increasing impact of technology on people’s lives is a noteworthy aspect of our contemporary world. Technological advancements have significantly eased our daily tasks, with computers playing a pivotal role. However, the effects of these developments, both positive and negative, influence our lives. Recently, Metaverse has gained widespread attention, prompting curiosity about its potential negative effects on human health.

The concept of the metaverse initially surfaced in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel, Snow Crash. As technology has progressed, a vision of a world where the real and virtual seamlessly coexist has materialized.

In this virtual realm, accessed through virtual reality glasses and avatars, individuals can engage in various activities. While the metaverse may seem like an entertaining and engaging space, questions arise about its impact on human health. Let’s delve into the details of this intriguing topic.

What is the metaverse?

The metaverse is a vivid virtual world, a communal sandbox where individuals are represented by digital avatars. Within this virtual realm, constant growth and evolution occur based on the decisions and actions of the society within it. This concept mirrors the foundational principles that shaped the internet as we know it today. Certain video game communities, such as Minecraft, Roblox (a platform encompassing numerous games created by children and teenagers), and Fortnite, have already laid the groundwork for meta-universes.

In essence, fragments of the metaverse already exist, distributed across various platforms. The vision is to bring these elements together into a cohesive whole. The metaverse is anticipated to facilitate a wide array of daily activities, including work, travel, gaming, attending concerts, and shopping with cryptocurrencies, all through 3D avatars created in this digital realm.

What are the metaverse damages?

A study conducted in the USA gathered responses from 1,050 people of various ages and genders on Reddit to gauge public perceptions of the Metaverse. The research revealed that 77% of respondents believe the Metaverse will have negative effects on users. Key concerns include potential addiction to the virtual world, privacy issues, and mental health disorders. The identified harms of the Metaverse on human health are as follows:

  • Deceiving the Human Brain with Virtual Pleasures:
    • The risk of misleading the human brain with pleasures from a virtual world that doesn’t actually exist.
  • Leading a Sedentary Lifestyle:
    • Living a sedentary and inactive lifestyle, resulting in health issues due to physical inactivity and poor nutrition.
  • Preference for Virtual Experiences Over Reality:
    • Individuals may start preferring experiences in the virtual world over real-world interactions, feelings, and pleasures.
  • Influence of Advertisements in the Virtual World:
    • Big companies directing people to shop through advertisements in the virtual world, causing economic and psychological challenges for individuals.
  • Digital Environment Addiction:
    • Spending excessive time in digital environments may lead to addiction in individuals.
  • Creation of Fake Identities:
    • The Metaverse may encourage individuals to create fake identities, impersonating different personas, thereby reducing trust among people.
  • Weakening Motor and Cognitive Skills:
    • The Metaverse may weaken the motor and cognitive skills of individuals, affecting problem-solving, development, establishing cause-effect relationships, and strategy formation and development.

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