There is a race to build the metaverse outside the real world. This new creation represents the next stage of the Internet, which will catapult the user beyond interacting with the virtual world via screens. The metaverse will immerse users inside its three-dimensional platforms via headsets.
The metaverse is a virtual space where users can live out any fantasy they want. People construct their own identities, which now appear as avatars. They can take their self-identification beyond pronouns and choose to be any animal or thing and of any sex.
Users can also construct their fantasy worlds—climbing mountains, landing on the moon or sitting in a field of unicorns. There are no physical restraints or consequences of their acts. Later developments call for skin suits that will allow people to feel their experiences in these unreal worlds.
The meta-construction project is advancing full steam ahead. Vast sums of money are going into the development of these fantastic worlds. Advertisers are even buying virtual space inside these creations to position themselves to make money.
However, few are asking what the impact of this new unrestrained world will be. Some experts question the effects of this psychological rollercoaster on young people. They fear it will become a dangerous place that will overwhelm an already distracted generation.
Indeed, problems are already surfacing with the new world of the metaverse.
Experts point out that the metaverse will be video games and social media on steroids. All the obsessive pleasures of these media will be amplified on these 3-D platforms.
Users will necessarily be role-playing in the metaverse and will suffer from the diminished self-esteem of pretending to be what they are not. They will suffer depression from body image issues in which they do not live up to the expectation attached to their avatars.
The increased perception of immersion will serve to isolate individuals outside of reality, thus creating colossal loneliness, which contributes to the possibility of suicide.
Not only is the metaverse a lonely and depressing place, but it can also be a dangerous one. A Wild West atmosphere now prevails inside these fantasy worlds without policing. Anything can happen.
Although the images in these worlds do not physically touch users, they can be regularly exposed to graphic sexual content, violent language, crude imagery and harassment. Virtual sexual assaults have already happened. As the level of realism increases, these attacks will be psychologically and morally devastating.
Since the content is in real time and not searchable, violent acts can be done without legal consequences.
To make matters worse, tech companies will be targeting the highly suggestible demographic of young people as they roll out their metaverse. It will impact them at the most vulnerable period of their mental and emotional development. However, it will also hurt users of all ages since the abandonment of reality to sink into fantasy destroys the moral fiber of the soul.
Such considerations should be analyzed now before the project develops. Products and medicines are tested before being released to the public. The metaverse should too be thoroughly examined in light of the possible harm it can cause.
However, the most critical question is why the metaverse must be built at all. Something is terribly wrong in a society where the appetite for fantasy has reached this extreme point of creating unreal worlds. When people refuse to live inside the restraints of reality to waste countless hours in the pursuit of nothing, there is a grave moral problem.
People are made to live in the real world. All the mind’s faculties are oriented in this direction so that reality serves as a means to know God. Anything else only serves to distort and deform the mind, wounding our rational nature, which makes us “to the image and likeness of God” (Gen. 1:26—27).
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