What Exactly is the “Metaverse”?

While “metaverse” sounds like a science-fiction term, the reality is that it’s becoming more and more relevant in our technological world.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently made headlines for the announcement that he would be changing the name of his world-famous social media app to “Meta,” in reference to the expanding metaverse. In this article, we
explore what the metaverse is, how Facebook is adapting to it, and how it will continue to impact Internet and social media users in the future.

The Definition of the Metaverse

When it comes down to it, the metaverse is most commonly defined as a combination of various forms of technology, communication, and elements of reality, such as virtual reality or augmented reality. The metaverse also aims to have the most up-to-date technology, the most information, and the highest speeds. The difference between the metaverse and the traditional Internet is that human participants play a much more engaging role in the metaverse. People can almost “live” there, while simply using the Internet or playing a simple video game is not so immersive. To do this, humans create an “avatar” of themselves that represents them in the virtual world. The metaverse is all about 3-D virtual buildings, environments, and avatar personalities that virtually represent humans.

The Metaverse in Social Media

Whether you realize it or not, elements of the metaverse already perverse many areas of our world, especially when looking at video games, communication programs, and technology. In popular games like Roblox, Fortnite, and Minecraft, players create avatars that they can play with and through, and can become physically involved in the games while they connect virtually with other players. Virtual reality is currently huge in our world, after exploding in popularity in the past few years. Companies like Google have created advanced, modern virtual reality headsets with information and views from around the world, and Oculus is one of the biggest virtual reality companies in the world.

There is still a lot of the metaverse that can be explored and developed in social media, but even right now, companies are diving right in and already adapting some elements of it. Meta has changed its name, and has started Horizon Workrooms, a platform that will allow coworkers to see each others’ avatars and collaborate together in the virtual world; it allows coworkers to attend meetings without leaving their couch. Meta also purchased Oculus in an attempt to invest in the virtual reality world. Additionally, Microsoft and other companies make use of holograms to connect virtually with people.

The metaverse offers a lot to social media and the Internet, and many companies, apps, and services have already begun to look into it in the forms of avatars, holograms, and virtual reality. But is everything about the metaverse good?

Concerns About the Metaverse

It has a lot of potential benefits and could offer a lot of new things and new fun on the Internet. But there are also a few controversial prospects and concerns about what the metaverse promises. First, many people are already addicted to their smartphones, social media, and technology in general. Offering them an even more immersive, live-in experience could worsen that addiction and deepen the technology craze. There are already many studies that tie depression, anxiety, increased stress levels, and other health problems to increased time on screens.

Privacy is also a huge concern, as the metaverse requires giving even more information and time to the virtual world. Meta has already been embroiled in scandals and controversy for stealing its users’ information and data and has had to pay billions of dollars in fines for those privacy violations. So many companies and individuals are concerned about issues with privacy in the metaverse as well.

Technology and the virtual world are always changing, and expanding interest may soon change them both even more. With many powerhouse companies embracing the metaverse, as well as some concerns from Internet users popping up, the development is definitely one to watch.

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