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Why I HATE the metaverse

Yes, if you hadn’t already guessed by the title, I absolutely hate the recently announced Metaverse! Read on in my blog for a deep dive into why I feel it is a prime example of technology and innovation causing more harm than good for people.


“But Nyomi”, I hear you say; “what is this Metaverse that you’re talking about?” Well, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that his company would be changing its name to ‘Meta’. Alongside Facebook’s re-naming, Zuckerberg also announced that his company was working on the next-step for social media and the internet as a whole – A.K.A, the Metaverse.


Using Virtual Reality (VR) technology, the Metaverse is designed to place the user inside a range of digital environments. Many of you may think this already exists within gaming, however the difference with Metaverse is that almost absolutely anything can be done within these digital realms. This includes; work, hanging out with friends, concerts and cinema trips – all through the eyes of your personalised 3D avatar in a completely augmented reality.


The idea of the Metaverse worries me and throughout this article I’ll list three aspects of the Metaverse that you should be aware of. To conclude, I will shed light on the things you and others in the industry can do to provide a more optimistic future when it comes to this emerging tech.


Creating a greater digital divide


The Metaverse is incentivising corporates to use the platform for promoting their products and services. By using each consumer’s data, the corporates, products and services will be specifically selected to create advertisements tailored to their interests, meaning corporates are more likely to make a sale – sound familiar?


For example, if you’re hanging around in the Metaverse with your friends and you start discussing how much you love cars – before you know it, you’ll be seeing advertisements for car dealerships with their latest deals for purchase within the real world. Much like how in real life, your internet browsing data can be used by Facebook to push promotions specific to your interests onto your homepage, a system driven by a greed and power.


You may think that if it exists in the real world, then what harm could it do in a digital one? Well, despite the corporate plague that can often consume our reality, we still live on planet Earth, a place that is pure, full of real beauty and can be anything you want it to be. The Metaverse brings about the creation of a fake and completely corporate-made version of reality, one that holds greed, profitability and power at the core of its existence.


For ordinary people, all this will do is drive real communities apart, and we’ve already seen the devastating impact the Coronavirus pandemic had – if anything this is a step backwards. There will be many people who cannot access the technology needed to join the Metaverse, it’s an innovation that divide the social classes, as it is one made to serve the wealthy over ordinary people.


It’s beyond unethical


Facebook has been run unethically for so many years. Being are blind-sided by the worldwide connectivity and social interaction, not seeing the way the platform can and has disrupted people’s lives, businesses and relationships. Not to mention the way each individual user’s private data is breached and handed out across the globe, in the ways I mentioned above.

The Metaverse will do nothing but encourage the further unethical practices carried out by Facebook, only this time it will be within a completely digital world on an almost infinite scale.


A disconnect between reality and digital


You don’t have to look far to see the many negative reactions to the idea of the Metaverse. One of Facebook’s earliest investors has even labelled the project as “dystopian” and told the BBC: “It’s a bad idea and the fact that we are all sitting and looking at this like it’s normal should be alarming everyone.”


Furthermore, Mr McNamee told visitors at the Web Summit: “Facebook should have lost the right to make its own choices. A regulator should be there giving pre-approval for everything they do. The amount of harm they’ve done is incalculable.“

I don’t claim to be an expert but the idea of the Metaverse scares me, the thought of people waking up and immediately removing themselves from the real world by entering this digitally forged alternate reality, stuck behind a VR headset.


At an event I recently attended called Altitude X, hosted by Peak AI, keynote speaker Christopher Wiley mentioned how the Metaverse reminds him of the dystopia pictured in Disney Pixar’s WALL-E. In this film, the robotic main character finds himself on a space station in the future where all the humans are unhealthy, moving around on floating chairs and are glued to the screens in front of their eyes.


Back when that film released in 2008 that seemed funny but now it scares me and I feel the Metaverse moves us closer to this dystopian reality, where digital worlds become the new norm and our beautiful planet Earth is forgotten.


I Blame Mark Zuckerberg


The recent announcement of the Metaverse only highlights how Zuckerberg has damaged technology, innovation and people. I do not believe in his principles, using his business to create monopolies and further encourage the divides within society.


As an article on medium.com says, the Facebook of today is not the Facebook of 2014. It is thanks to the manipulation of millions of people, election interference, coup attempts and genocides, all of which took place with full knowledge of the company, that has led to them holding one of the worst reputations of any company in the world.

What do you do when your company’s reputation Is rightfully tarnished in the real world? Easy, create your very own digital universe, one that you can forge, manipulate and exploit in any way you want to ensure you and your company will always remain on top – Zuckerberg’s Metaverse is not what it appears to be on the surface…


What now?

For me, the Metaverse has highlighted the importance of tech and innovation experts in helping bridge the digital divide within ordinary people and vulnerable communities – everybody needs to be educated on the true realities of arising tech, so they can realise how harmful it can be and protect themselves from exploitation.


As a digital events professional who heavily encourages the use of AI, data and innovative technology, I recognise the magnitude that these technologies have when it comes to revolutionising the future of our society and bringing communities together. However, this can only be achieved with an ethically driven approach that prioritises user safety, privacy and protection – not one that put’s profit over the lives of our people. I believe everybody should be able to experience the true joy that technology brings, but investment and support needs to be provided to vulnerable communities so they can equally thrive in the digital era.


I will be releasing my research project this December 2021 that analysed ‘How the business event’s industry is adopting artificial intelligence in event operations and how this can bridge the digital divide’. Stay tuned for updates.


I hope you enjoyed this blog and that it provided a real awakening the harm that technology can bring when in the wrong hands (and pockets).



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