Young teenager girl in virtual reality goggles headset
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Linked: The Metaverse Via Oculus Is Awkward if You’re a Woman. And Beware of Griefers

I found the article below to be both interesting and somehow obvious as well. For all of the hype about the “metaverse” that magical place where we will all spend our time interacting in the digital world, I have often wondered how, exactly, is that going to result in everyone behaving in ways that we can’t seem to behave online or off now?

“Mark Zuckerberg has said the “metaverse” is where we’ll connect with family and friends. The chief executive officer of Meta Platforms Inc. (a.k.a. Facebook) is betting that we will express ourselves “in new, joyful, completely immersive ways.” He’s bet the future of his company on it.

Over the course of two weeks, I ventured into his virtual platform and others. I put on an Oculus Quest 2 on loan from Meta and mingled with people at an array of virtual locations including a concert, a church service, a conference and a speed-dating event. I found that his vision was only part of the story. Connecting with people in virtual reality is fun and exciting, but it’s also intense, tiring and often awkward. Going in as a woman was also deeply uncomfortable at times.”

Why it’s almost as if trolls will be trolls, creeps will be creeps, and people will continue to be everything they are on social media or yes, even in person. Because while those who seem to think that the virtual reality and presence of a real voice will somehow dim the hate and harassment that comes from a network where you can be anonymous, we can see plenty of real-life examples where being identifiable didn’t stop anyone from acting this way. I mean, half the folks who took part in Jan. 6 bragged about it on social media for days. Do you really think a little VR is going to make them suddenly self-conscious?

It’s a humanity issue, not a tech issue. No “new” tech that allows people to interact in real-time is going to be without it.

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