Metaverse is currently a hot topic in the tech world. It’s a revolution ignited by Facebook when it renamed itself, Meta to reflect its focus on the “metaverse.” This rebranding reflects Facebook’s effort to shift its focus from connecting people (social networking) to the decentralised distribution of data and information that people share on social media sites (the metaverse). Therefore, as the next big thing in the world, it is expected for the metaverse to transform the world in ways that will merge the physical (real) world with the digital (virtual) world.
The metaverse is an online world that runs parallel to the physical one and will change the entire universe. With its ability to provide users with a unique experience in communication, collaboration and knowledge sharing, the metaverse will make the Internet more personal than ever before. While this might sound like a good thing, people should note that this and other pros of this revolution have their consequences. In this article, I want to share my view about the impact of the metaverse on society’s future and how it could influence how we interact.
Metaverse In A Nutshell
The virtual world has been in existence for over two decades, but until recently, people have always tried to distinguish the real from the virtual world. With the rise of the metaverse, we are getting closer to a world where these two worlds can merge. Despite how much of a big thing it is, it’s challenging to provide a perfect definition of the metaverse because the revolution is still at an evolutionary stage. However, a straightforward way to describe the metaverse is to call it a future Internet that is 3D immersive.
The metaverse is a future internet that syndicates diverse technology elements at a fundamental level. These elements include text, audio, video, images, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR). This future internet makes it possible for users to exist, act, and interact in a virtual or digital world. In one sentence, the metaverse concept is about people stepping inside the internet to shop, play, meet people, work, attend meetings, go to concerts, buy assets, and even go on vacations.
Metaverse: How It Will Affect Society In The Future
Imagine yourself interacting with your neighbours in a virtual world. Imagine playing with your siblings in a digital world filled with avatars. Imagine being in your country but seeing your dream to visit Paris or Dubai come to reality virtually. You may assume you already see things like this in video games or mobile apps, but the metaverse is much more profound. It transforms you from being a physical and biological entity to being a digital and virtual entity who faces reality in a virtual world. The evolution of the metaverse will mean endless possibilities. However, it will bring about a significant change in society generally.
Only time will tell whether the effect of the metaverse on society will be positive or negative. Assessing this technological concept from a social perspective can bring everyone around the world closer. The use of avatars in a virtual world will make human interaction and human relationships easier. For instance, businesses will use virtual meeting rooms instead of Zoom meetings, which might just make business trips a thing of the past. People can get quality education remotely no matter where they are, which might bring a dead end to traditional ways of learning. People can buy or sell assets without going out of their house, which might make digital assets several times more valuable than physical ones. The metaverse can provoke these and many other changes.
The metaverse is likely to influence social institutions in general significantly. This influence includes significant changes in the dynamics of government, economy, education, family, healthcare, and religion. That is, the metaverse will impact our social lives, businesses, learning patterns, entertainment, worship, politics, and others. Some of the significant changes that are likely to happen in these institutions will be discussed.
Impact Of The Metaverse On Government
The introduction of the metaverse might mean that politics will become a virtual thing, as many people will have to shift all their real-time activities into the virtual world. Just as political parties and organisations have built huge followings on social media platforms, they will work towards building a massive presence in the Metaverse, and it might be difficult for them to adapt. Moreso, the virtual world might lead to the rise of new political ideologies and movements. The Metaverse can also allow virtual political acts to alter and shape voters’ real-life political opinions and conversations. Therefore, this technological concept can go a long way to redefine politics.
Impact Of The Metaverse On Economy
The metaverse’s effect on the global economy is limitless because it has a capitalist ideology. Moreso, the connection between the metaverse and Web 3.0 increases the chance of the economy being greatly influenced. Unlike Web 2.0, where data and information are centralised with Google, Facebook and Apple, and other tech giants, Web 3.0 is based on blockchains, making data and information decentralised and visible to everyone. People are now focusing on digital assets and goods they secure via NFTs. This shift in focus shows how much this revolution can maximise the economy.
Impact Of The Metaverse On Education
The metaverse could be the best thing that will ever happen to students. The metaverse will allow classrooms to be transferred from the physical world into the virtual world. Not only will the metaverse feature classrooms this way, but it will also make it possible for some components of the virtual world to be connected with the physical world through digital headsets or glasses. This innovation is helping students and teachers adapt to a post-pandemic world, and it is a game-changer for the educational institution because it provides endless learning opportunities.
Impact Of The Metaverse On Family
If the metaverse can influence other components of society, then it can affect the family institution. The metaverse can make it possible for family members in different locations to gather around and experience vacations together virtually. Usually, people spend time with distant loved ones via video call. However, the metaverse will make video calls with your family primitive, as family members will be able to meet and hang out in 3D virtual areas. Here they can eat and drink together. They can interact, and everything would look as if they were in the same room together.
Impact Of The Metaverse On Healthcare
With the evolution of the metaverse, there is a vast potential to influence healthcare in society. This potential makes it possible for several technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Internet of Medical Devices, Web 3.0, intelligent cloud, edge and quantum computing, along robotics, to establish new healthcare approaches. The Metaverse will make it possible for medical professionals to collaborate virtually and train, learn and plan the way forward. This collaboration will influence and empower clinical decision-making processes and improve medical interventions to improve patients’ lives.
Impact Of The Metaverse On Religion
Imagine worshipping in the metaverse where you can just look up to Jesus directly. Imagine being a Budda worshipper, and your entire religious life is being embedded in a virtual platform. Sounds crazy and fun, right? In the future, the metaverse can become the virtual home for religious communities like churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and others. Besides the worship part, people can virtually celebrate their religious festivals. For instance, Evangelicals have adopted this technology, and they’ve been celebrating Christmas in the metaverse for years. This initiative can be widely accepted and continued in the future.
The Uncertain Future Of The Metaverse
The impacts mentioned above are just possibilities, as the metaverse is still in a stage of evolution and implementation. These social institutions are not the only elements that this alternative virtual universe will influence. While it might be a thing of the future, it is closer than you think. Also, it will be seen as more of an opportunity than as a threat. Very soon, you will not just be going through the internet on your devices. Still, you will also be inside the internet through a relevant technological innovation that will generally redefine society’s future and the universe.