Will the Metaverse stifle our human instincts?
We are heading at a great speed toward an extremely nebulous future in which we will almost completely forget the beauty of human contact, of close looks, of conversations between human beings sitting at a small table, with nothing but a couple of cups sharing their bodies. The Metaverse is no longer just the name of a digital oddity concocted by some nerd, but a distinct and delineated reality, with a kind of physicality that is bursting forth and clearly noticeable, and that will in all likelihood decisively influence our present and future lives.
The prospect of creating a second virtual life for ourselves, punctuated by the rhythms of social networks and algorithms, seems to be permanently distancing what for centuries has represented the essence of relationships and interactions between human beings, namely the close and authentic contact between two people, formed by a silent complicity that is triggered even through imperceptible gestures and glances, which more than anything else contribute to constitute the main identifying characteristics of our species.
We are not saying that these elements have already been completely forgotten, fortunately we have not yet reached this point, but the clues at our disposal are too obvious to be ignored: thanks to the glittering and unpredictable universe of social media, the new generations (and the old ones as well) are becoming accustomed to a new kind of reality in which relationships between people are almost exclusively virtual, made possible through the power of an Internet connection.
New ways of working
The metaverse will not only affect our social and family lives, but also our work lives. In a sense, the most drastic change is bound to take place in the very field of work, in the world of work, which has already been put to the test by the terrible two-year global pandemic. For the past two years, due to force majeure, people have in fact become increasingly accustomed to working remotely, to smart working, spending less and less time in close contact with their colleagues.
Nowadays, meetings take place online, thanks to one of the many software programs that make such meetings and encounters possible, thus paving the way for what may happen with the Metaverse: a series of meetings and work encounters in which participants, now veritable ghosts of themselves, exchange opinions and considerations behind the virtual mask of their avatar, which is almost certainly destined to replace entirely the person it represents, rarefying him or her into a spectral image composed of extremely cold pixels and totally devoid of a human spark.
To avoid this drift there is an antidote, a digital remedy to be exploited whenever one has the opportunity, and that consists precisely in increasing one’s opportunities to interact with real people, possibly in real time and without the annoying mask of an avatar, even online. The Internet was not created to replace people with avatars, but to bring them closer together, keeping their human characteristics unchanged. It is in this spirit that the use of video calls and other virtual means of communication should be encouraged, without ever losing sight of the exquisitely human characterization with which all existing people in the world are endowed.
The value of people
To mistake the Web for a virtual dimension in which to build an alternative reality, different and according to some more exhilarating than the real one, is not only a very serious mistake, but also a blatant misunderstanding of the potential of the Web, which possesses the great ability to convey extremely positive messages and to transmit the best human characteristics, keeping them substantially unchanged and preserving their inestimable richness.
It is no coincidence that some brands have begun to offer virtual services or experiences in which human presence is absolutely crucial to consumer satisfaction: Just think of some of the best online portals dedicated to gambling, which, in addition to offering wide selections of online casino games and slot machines, allow players to play online roulette in India and experience a revolutionary mode of play such as that related to live dealer casinos, which make possible real-time interaction between the player and a live dealer, as if both were in a land-based land-based casino. The human presence is also intensely felt in the many guides on the site, which help each player begin his or her online adventure in a simple and extremely intuitive way.
The monstrous power of the Web may lead us to forget our true nature, projecting us into an unreal dimension that we have constructed, and that will provide us with all the illusions we need.