Could the Metaverse Have a Good Impact on the Planet’s Health?
Neal Stephenson, an American novelist, coined the term Metaverse in 1992 in his dystopian novel, Snow Crash. Since its coinage, the concept has found increased use, particularly by tech enthusiasts.
What exactly is the metaverse? This question is undeniably very common. Principally, the concept “metaverse” does not point out any particular type of technology but refers to a broader and deeper shift in how people interact with technology. That means, whether it uses virtual reality or augmented reality, the greatest hope in the metaverse is to intertwine the digital and physical lives with socialization, entertainment, productivity, and shopping.
The Big Question
With that in mind, environmentalists, researchers, and scientists are looking at the metaverse from a critical dimension. Believably, a majority of tech consumers could also be grappling with a similar viewpoint. The question blanketing this new thrilling technology is how it will impact the health of our planet? By health, here, we consider both environmental health and human health.
You, I, and everyone else are cognizant that we are living in an era of environmental crisis. Climate change, for instance, is not a hoax but a reality. It is worriedly and equally affecting both the developed and the developing countries. It is commendable that if something new like the metaverse comes up, somebody prioritizes the environment and its impacts.
The Good News
Digital advertising is such a lucrative business across the world. You may have had a taste of it where you have successfully redirected traffic to your product. A majority of people also prefer a quick check-up online to locate a product they may need. However, one can bear witness that digital advertising has played a bigger role in advertising unhealthy products such as junk or drug-containing products. Perhaps nothing much can be done because individuals and companies are out to reach their customers.
But hope is not lost. The world is shifting towards a healthier metaverse, shaped by the rising awareness surrounding sustainability. The metaverse is bringing a whole new experience. It is a platform anticipated to behave differently by promoting a healthy lifestyle as consumers enjoy various services. With its diverse features, the metaverse encapsulates big data and artificial intelligence that provide new opportunities for fighting non-communicable diseases and monitoring health. It is a platform that will empower people by promoting digital health.
What about the Environment?
As a new vision or a new version of the internet, the metaverse creates a virtual world where users can interact in real-time and share experiences within simulated scenarios. What does this mean? There is minimal traveling to do activities that can be accomplished virtually. One indirect outcome is that there will be a considerable reduction of emissions to the environment. Reduced traveling equals reduced accidents, less traffic, and reduced pollution, which could slow down global warming.
Wistfully, the metaverse could have been so effective during the COVID-19 era. Remember how traveling was limited, either by road or air. Social gatherings were cut short. The few who were well connected to the internet were lucky to study or work online. Although there is limited research about COVID-19 and the environmental impact, one could guess that there must have been at least a slight change in the rate of carbon dioxide emission to the atmosphere courtesy of the restrictions imposed by governments to minimize the spread the virus.
When the metaverse finally picks up globally (the trend of its adoption by some leading tech companies signifies a positive response), the health of the global environment is likely to improve. The metaverse could very well be considered a green tech.
A Hopeful Future
Take it home that the world is shifting to a new vision and version of the internet, the Metaverse. Projected to include either spectacular virtual reality or augmented reality features, or both, the metaverse is bringing a brand new experience. It involves every aspect of human life; entertainment, digital advertising, shopping, networking, socialization, and productivity. What’s more, is that it endeavors to promote the health of our planet, both environmental health and human health. In that sense, the metaverse is no longer a dystopic entity but a reality worthy of adoption and embracement.
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