Chilling in the dining room with a sip of coffee and crypto talks doesn’t sound that very astonishing in today’s world. Well, the same goes for the idea of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies where you can meet possibly anyone and everyone out there. Can flee to wherever you want, and can enjoy whatever activity you wish to like in the games, Fortnite, Axie Infinity, etc. All through the ‘Metaverse’. The term “metaverse” originally coined by science fiction writer Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel, Snow Crash to represent a virtual reality environment connected through the internet and accessible from any device with an internet connection.

Today, it’s a conjunction of the same key ideas, virtual reality, and an immersive second life. Remember, none of this is actually real but the word ‘reality’ is a pivotal component of this. Unlike, your social media platforms, engrossed in the experience but not ‘immersed’ such as to feel that experience physically as well. Metaverse is a graphical and hypothetical iteration of that rich virtual space, with claims of reliability where people can work, play, shop, and socialize.

All without actually doing all of that in person. Interesting right? But come on there’s no way that we’ll turn into zombies with those headsets and would be moving about here and there in an isolated world of ours. But never mind, you won’t just be on the internet but actually, in the internet. Well, that’s great for starters at least, he didn’t claim that we could actually even defecate and eat in the Metaverse. But whether we’d like it or not, whether we’d enjoy its experience or not, whether we even actually need such technology for its entirety. There are things that we may indeed be very uncertain about. Still, something that we are pretty sure of, is the fact that this is ‘inevitable’.

Just like the climate change crisis, just like the evolution of humankind, just like the gradual doom of the States and steady but consistent rise in China’s power, and of course, just like the growing environment of communal disharmony in India. This technological innovation is something that we cannot stop. It’s not as if Mark would have asked for your opinion on this before? He is the God of this creation, would command like a King, and we’d work like slaves for him, and with him.

Indeed, this technology also has great business potential, in IT, advertising, branding, marketing, banking, and especially in architecture, engineering, and medical designing models.

And about the idea of one company’s monopoly, Google has also recently invested $70 Billion in developing software apps and games through something called ‘Activision Blizzard’ which brings us to put forward two significant analogies. One, not just Facebook (Meta) but many giant fishes have entered into this competitive pond of VR rivals including Microsoft, Google, and Apple as potential players.

Something that looks like the land of Zalem, in Alita the Battle Angel? Any other space that you could have imagined in the words of your favourite science-fiction writers. Metaverse supposedly seems to be all that. Well, let Mark through his words himself, lead you to explore this.

“Future will be beyond anything we can imagine”.

Well, as mentioned by Zuckerberg.

Today we should wonder and question ourselves as to what kind of future, we would wish to build. And how much ‘beyond’ would it be crossing the realms of our imagination. Or say how much is Zuckerberg’s idea of unraveling technological potentials as to his ideas of what supposedly seems to be beyond our imagination. Well maybe, just wear a headset sit on your couch or bed, and lock yourself in a room, to see that potential as Joanna Stern from Wall Street Journal did.

Now, there are several things that these tech-giants don’t genuinely seem to be “sorry for”: -

a) The Myanmar Violence against, ‘Rohingyas’.

b) Facebook whistle blower’s alleged involvement in Capitol Riots.

c) Ethical Violence in Ethiopia

d) Biased political censorships and campaigning

e) Addiction, Mental health concerns, and body image issues

f) Forever, standing privacy concerns

g) Copyright and intellectual property infringement,

h) Hate speech,

i) Incitement of rape

j) Violence against minorities, terrorism, and fake news

And the list goes on. Hence, the more we are invisible, the more harm is done. Therefore, the concern is, can we trust Zuckerberg and others? And are his ‘sorries’ enough? Well, certainly they may be as long as they advance in his pocketbook. But remember we are the ones providing that unprecedented amount of control and power that may be more terrifying than the present. And this is something that we as future users of this technology should think about before getting into it.

The edited version of this article has been published on the print's campus voice.

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