A Subversive Metaverse? September newsletter


The Metaverse – OK Kdot wtf is this?

I first heard the term ‘metaverse’ a few months ago, when Mark Zuckerberg announced that: “In the coming years, I expect people will transition from seeing Facebook primarily as a social media company to seeing us as a metaverse company.”

Zuck says it is the next generation internet, the next big computing platform. I think it is important for us to begin to understand it now, so that we do not enter this new digital space unconsciously. He offers us this definition…

“It is a virtual environment where you can be present with people in digital spaces. An embodied Internet that you're inside of rather than just looking at.”

“We believe that this is going to be the successor to the mobile Internet.”

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/infinite-scroll/facebook-wants-us-to-live-in-the-metaverse


The term metaverse actually comes from a 1992 science fiction novel by Neal Stephenson, called Snow Crash, in which human avatars and software daemons inhabit a parallel 3D universe. Which does not fill me with joy, as an origin story or energy.

As I am something of a futurist, writing about social media for a new age, it felt pertinent to cover this now, with the recent announcement of the beta launch of Facebook Horizon Workrooms, as an alternative and ‘more present’ option to Zoom for remote working.



Other big tech brands are due to release ever more ‘smart’ wear alongside Facebook as we move into 2022 and beyond. I think it is good for us to discuss in relation to our wellbeing, ethics and privacy alongside what the metaverse might be from a spiritual and philosophical perspective.

Zuckerborg’s metaverse does scare me, as do terms such as ‘embodied internet’.


The thought of being a virtual reality cartoon avatar of myself, teleporting around virtual rooms designed and built by Facebook, Apple, Google and Amazon, to take part in different social experiences and entertainments, could sadly be as enticing as it is frightening. In some ways is it no different to me sat at home alone, watching Netflix? Scrolling Instagram? We see people sat at tables in restaurants, both looking at their phones rather than each other… Households of people all in different rooms on different screens….

Are we already existing within a 2D metaverse reality of sorts?


If you don’t know the difference between virtual reality and augmented reality – together they co-create this possible future internet, a new digital dimension, this so-called metaverse.


VR is the fully immersive kind, currently accessible through a headset, that uses tools to map the environment around you.

AR is integrated with physical reality, a blended reality, accessed through smart glasses, to be worn 24/7, with smart contact lenses in development. They will in the future use holograph technology for us to interact with the metaverse, creating a blended reality.

"In the next 5-10 years, I think we will have devices like a normal pair of glasses that you can wear, that will put holograms into the world and I think we will just have these amazing and magical experiences, um, I think it's going to be wild.

It is the thing that I am most excited about contributing to building over the next 5-10 years.” Mark Zuckerberg, CBS Morning Interview, August 2021

Now, let’s take a moment, to take all of that information into consideration.

I know it can be a lot.

So, here and now.

BREATHE.

Take a deep breath.

Take a Moment here.

Relax.

Breathe into your back.

Breathe again.

Deeply.

Come back.

As you can probably imagine I have a LOT of inner unicorn questions about this months topic!! My double pisces Neptunian imagination and intuition is going wild. So I channeled this into an exercise of enquiry for the Social Media For A New Age Club to muse, journal, and meditate on this month.

Sharing a few of the questions below for you to muse on, too…

Is the metaverse, this next generation of immersive and embodied internet, part of our human evolution journey?

Do you want it to be part of your evolution journey?

What does the energy of the metaverse feel like to you?

Does the metaverse feel like a natural or artificial timeline?

What images or feelings do you get when you think about the ‘metaverse’?

I would love to hear what comes through for you if you take part with me! We will circle back to some of these questions on the Club call this month, which you are invited to join on Wednesday 22nd September at 4pm GMT.

In some of the latest research I am seeing from the corporate arena, VR and AR are in the plans and as more people adopt it and if the media, influencers and so forth get behind it, we will see more and more people using it. As travel continues to be disrupted, as a result of the pandemic, working remotely setting in as a ‘new normal,’ the predictions by Zuck of the metaverse becoming part of many people’s day-to-day reality over the next 5-10 years could come true.

What could it mean for our brain health over time?

And what about our emotional health and wellbeing?

There are not many/any long term studies yet, which should not surprise us. And with one of Zuckerberg’s famous quotes, “Move fast, break things” it does make you wonder if he should be in charge of designing and building a whole new whatever-VERSE?!? I am concerned due diligence is not being done in regards to the wellbeing of individuals or society. This is - no matter how cool and fun it looks – another capitalist surveillance and money making machine coming into play that we need to be very cautious of.


A Subversive metaverse?


The metaverse. It exists.