With tech fans excited about Meta’s long-awaited announcement of the Project Cambria VR headset in October, it looks like the company’s vision for the Metaverse is slowly coming closer. For some, however, it’s an exercise in futility until many more metaverse concerns are resolved.
Tech enthusiasts have taken to Reddit to voice some of their issues with the technology in its current form. From data and privacy issues that have plagued Meta since they invested heavily in technology, to practical issues, these are their biggest concerns.
Ever since Facebook announced it was changing its branding to Meta to help put it at the forefront of this technology, critics and consumers have expressed concern that a company with a bad reputation, data and privacy, could be responsible for a such a potentially immersive concept.
Redditor PointandStare did this, calling it a “massive data and privacy nightmare.” This claim is not without merit, as Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen warned in an interview with AP that the company was once again trying to use technology to harvest data irresponsibly. Meta has repeatedly denied these claims, but many see no reason to trust the tech giant.
Most people don’t like to use VR for long periods of time
Developing and improving VR technology is essential for the Metaverse to become viable for mainstream consumers, and while Oculus is steadily adding to the experience, some believe this will always be a problem.
Redditor a_pen_in_time comments that they “can’t see it catching on” in the future, explaining that their own experience means that “motion sickness or disconnection from being somewhere visually different from reality” that most people just dislike using VR headsets for extended, uninterrupted periods. No matter how much cleaner or more comfortable helmets become, it may not solve this fundamental problem.
The technology is not here yet
While the Metaverse and VR have their fans, especially when it comes to modern VR gaming, it is arguably still niche. Redditor a_curious_koala attributes this to the “clumsy” nature of the technology in its current state, claiming that the Metaverse “will only happen as the technology evolves”.
While that also means its rise to the mainstream is inevitable, once technology rises to meet it and make the experience cheaper and more convenient, that future may be far off. This may be bad news for those hoping that the Metaverse will soon explode in popularity.
People are already exhausted from online communication
While the emergence of Zoom and other remote collaboration and play tools during the pandemic has brought increased attention to the idea of the metaverse, it also brings with it another potential concern. Redditor WVA1999 thinks the idea of ”walking around a virtual world all day” doesn’t hold much appeal after the strains and shutdowns of the pandemic.
There is supporting evidence, and the Wall Street Journal reports that time spent online by US adults has increased dramatically during the pandemic. This arguably makes the metaverse more feasible since people already spend so much time online, but for some people the last thing they want is another reason to spend more time immersing themselves in the online world.
The potential of the Metaverse may be very real, but that doesn’t mean that today’s corporate interest in it necessarily stems from a sincere belief in the power of technology. Redditor Moggy-Man fears that it’s being widely used as a marketing ploy right now, especially by the Meta.
They call Meta a “marketing distraction” to try to put the company back at the forefront of consumers’ minds and say they “don’t believe it has any real motivation beyond that.” In fact, many have been unimpressed with Meta’s storefronts so far, which seem more geared towards making their Metaverse seem marketable than actually exploring the technology’s potential.
People may not want to live in a virtual world
One of the promises of Metaverse is that consumers will be happy to live in a virtual reality world thanks to the limitless potential it offers compared to the real world. However, Redditor tehsheepdog believes there may be a major problem with this that has yet to be addressed by proponents of the technology.
They say that the appeal of the game and the online world is that it offers “a temporary escape from reality” and that this appeal fades when “the game or the world becomes reality”. By presenting the metaverse as a place where people want to socialize, work and live, it loses the all-important element of escapism and risks losing a lot of consumers.
Its uses will be more superficial than people say
Metaverse promises to change things like the way everyone learns and works, and there are already incredibly immersive games and VR experiences out there. But Redditor EvidenceBase2000 believes that when the Metaverse is truly upon us, its uses will be much more superficial.
They plan to put more emphasis on “image”, “social status” and be full of explicit content as it becomes more mainstream. While there may not be much proof of it yet, it’s true that the pristine, user-friendly version of Metaverse being marketed right now probably won’t be an accurate representation of how it ends up. in reality.
One thing that many people have pointed out about Metaverse is that the concept of a virtual world where the user spends long periods of time immersed is nothing new, at least to anyone who has ever entered a game. extremely addictive video. Redditor mas901 points out that there is an issue people may be overlooking here.
They link the metaverse to their experience with World of Warcraft, going so far as to say “I played it often until I literally passed out” and the game “became the purpose of my life”. For people at risk of becoming obsessively addicted, Metaverse could provide an even more immersive version of the same idea.
While it would be nice to imagine that the Metaverse’s mainstream will be driven by those who are truly excited about bringing exciting new technology to consumers, some feel that the way it is presented now is a little too familiar. One Redditor explains the problem by saying “if the state of social media is any indication, [the Metaverse] will be driven solely by business interests. »
While Meta’s presentation of a more immersive virtual environment may appeal to investors, it is reminiscent of today’s social media, which is very obviously more interested in scrolling and viewing endless advertisements for the user than providing an engaging experience. . For some consumers, this overly corporate aspect is not very appealing.
While some still doubt that Mark Zuckerberg’s massive bet to turn Facebook into Meta and invest everything in future technology will pay off, it’s impossible to say that the company has failed to do a pretty big part in the future of the Metaverse, and it is worrying for some.
Redditor junktech believes the biggest concern with the Metaverse is the Meta itself “and the guy who runs it.” Like many, they feel that “money and power” has always been the main focus of the company and that dominance of the metaverse “would only give them more control”. Of course, it remains to be seen whether Meta’s gamble pays off, but not everyone is eager to see the future of Metaverse with Mark Zuckerberg at the helm.