A Metaverse Reality

Self-ImprovementPsychology

  • Author Bruce Wilson
  • Published August 7, 2022
  • Word count 704

A Metaverse Reality

Bruce Wilson, PhD

Meta comes from the Greek prefix and preposition meta, which means “after” or “beyond.” When combined with words in English, meta- often signifies “change” or “alteration” as in the words metamorphic or metabolic. In psychology, we often refer to terms like metacognition and metamotivation. Metacognition involves an understanding of how we think not why we think. Metamotivation involves character growth and expression.

In cosmology we study the universe and now we have the Metaverse. The new Facebook platform proposes that the Metaverse will allow people to do anything they can do in real life virtually. Going to a work meeting, hanging out with friends, shopping, concerts, performances, and even sightseeing can technically be done in the Metaverse. We design our own virtual world and we spend most of our time in that world. The Metaverse becomes our new reality.

We create our own avatars of ourselves, our friends, our work colleagues, our family members, right down to the sunglasses they wear on our Metaverse apps. We can now create our own ideal of a virtual world, and live there. We will be able to have our own virtual real estate, our own virtual housing, transport, partners, friends and identity. Similar to the artist, we paint a self-portrait of our ideal world that displaces our real world. When the Metaverse eventually evolves into our reality, what will the impact be on our real reality?

“Either you deal with what is the reality, or you can be sure that the reality is going to deal with you.” - Alex Haley

It’s Hard To Compete With An Ideal

With utopia at our fingertips, we might just drop out of our reality more and more. We may become immersed in the creative potential to live in a virtually perfect world rather than a flawed reality. We are already seeing this with the exponential growth of the gaming culture, with an estimated 2.8 billion participants, virtual reality in not only entertainment but educational settings, and an ever-expanding growth in social media. Instagram for example, allows the creation of our perfect life, our flawless beauty, our amazing friends, and our incredible experiences. The Metaverse will just add another dimension to our ability to escape from the real world. Besides, in the Metaverse I will have total control of what happens in my world, unlike the real world. Could the Metaverse become my personal bailout from a bankrupt reality?

“Man is a creation of desire, not a creation of need.”- Gaston Bachelard

Needs versus Wants

There appears to be a blurring between what is necessary and what is desired in modern living. Perhaps, when are needs are met, we become insatiable in terms of what we desire, we have that luxury. However, needs appear more robust than desires. Desire tends to change or wane over time whereas needs tend to be more stable. This might explain why our desires are always in a state of flux. Oddly, this dynamic allows for the commercial exploitation of our desires at a much higher level than our needs. Corporate advertising is skewed toward this awareness and is readily prepared to feed the lability of our desires. The Metaverse will be well situated to develop these desires to an even greater magnitude. Marketers are well aware that it is not about what we need, but what we desire.

Virtual Satiation

We know that satiation is a change agent. When we become satiated, we have had enough. We stop what we are doing and move on to something else. The Metaverse is designed to self-perpetuate itself. The desire to make it better is always present. So, will we ever become satiated in the Metaverse or will it keep recycling over and over. The technological changes of the future will insure that our fluctuations in desire will be well serviced.

A Pseudo Identity

False identities in the past have always been frowned upon. In the future, due to the pervasive virtual qualities within the Metaverse, they may even be desirable. It may become taboo to be too real. The expression “get real” may disappear from the vernacular. And maybe, just maybe, a Metaverse reality will not be considered an oxymoron.

Bio

Dr. Bruce Wilson is a psychologist with 25 years of experience. He enjoys sharing his ramblings with friends and colleagues. He is currently in private practice at Mind Health Care in Geelong, Australia. This article is solely his work.

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