Facebook is going 3D. The social media conglomerate recently announced plans to launch a new computerized simulation of the platform called Metaverse. To augment the user experience, Facebook will introduce 3D spaces where you can meet up with your buddies in a simulated world without every leaving your bedroom. You can sort of think of it like a Sims version of Facebook or Myspace, except your just one of millions of characters in the role playing world. Users will have to shell out a few hundred dollars for the VR headsets if they want to get in on the action. While the tech giant boasts the new virtualized version will enhance the immersive user experience, those who paid attention in high school English class agree has Orwellian feel. With conceptualization leaving much to the imagination of anxious users, naysayers believe its blurring the ever-thinning line of the real and virtual worlds. Millions of Americans already spend way too much time online, and as the case with any nascent technology there will be some growing pains as users navigate this final frontier.

What is Real and What is Fake?


The gist of it is this: Metaverse promises to create a duplicated virtual space or our current world. As far-fetched as it sounds, the Metaverse will contain virtual office spaces where people can work from home – a trend recently accelerated by the COVID19 pandemic. You might even be able to buy digital goods or “skins” for the 3D renderings of yourself at virtual stores that you can frequent as often as you choose. Users will even design and decorate virtual homes to entertain the digital representations of their friends and families. Superficially, the age of Metaverse sounds like the perfect time to reinvent yourself and cast a well-manicured digital image of who you really want to be. You will have total control of your avatar’s looks, appearance and swagger. All those previous insecurities and “flaws” can disappear with just the click of a mouse. Metaverse will also be the new social lubricant of all unconformable human interactions. Just think, you can simply just “log off” during awkward dates or heated exchanges with family member. Introverts rejoice! But there might be a slowly growing blackhole of the Metaverse that we’re overlooking. Our new digital world could be on a collision course set for an asteroid of real life consequences. As we’ve seen time and time again, digital actions can make things messy in our day-to-day lives. The Metaverse won’t be like Vegas. What happens there will follow you wherever you go. Do you really think any frivolous argument or fight you have with a friend in the Metaverse will be left in the digital world? Of course not. You will have two worlds to avoid that friend in any future awkward exchanges!

What Are The Costs of the Metaverse?


If Metaverse is a duplication, or at the very least an augmentation of our real waking worlds, what will that mean for other time honored institutions? The economy is a prime example of how the Metaverse could turn into an intergalactic War of the Worlds. Metaverse overlords have already hinted about working at home and digitalized shopping in the new virtual world, but how will that impact our productivity in the real world? While working remote might be acceptable for some industries, we still need the real world versions of ourselves to staff our hospitals, teach our children, police our streets and oil the gears of progress. If everyone stays perpetually logged into the Metaverse, our productivity and even our economy could take monstrous blows. And we’ve already proven ourselves vulnerable to digital attacks from foreign adversaries, as we have seen with the 2016 election interference. What will happen if we transition our daily lives to the digital world? Cyber attacks on the Metaverse could become the new terror attacks of our Modern Age.

There’s also a darker, more sinister side of the Metaverse galaxy we are overlooking. Humanity has always been susceptible to authoritarian style rule, subordination and outright servitude. We could be trading real world freedoms for digital slavery. If we are already working and buying goods in the Metaverse world, will a new digitalized currency replace the American dollar that we trade in everyday? We’ve already seen a subtle transition to a centralized digital monetary system. What will the Metaverse use as currency? And if we become indebted to any goods or services provided to us in the Metaverse, what happens if we can’t pay? Could we be forced to “pay off our debts” by constantly having to work in the Metaverse and digital ream? And what does that mean for our real world jobs? We can’t just live and eat in a digital world. We could be headed for a dystopian digital nightmare.

The Digital Disconnect


Not everyone can distinguish the real world from the virtual one. We’ve already seen real life spillovers and bleeding from interactions online. How many times have we seen heated virtual exchanges manifest into physical violence? Johnny Reb down the street might take a hatchet to Susie for his late night pining of unrequited love. People have even killed others for ignoring their Friend Requests or deleting them on Facebook. Imagine what could go wrong in the Metaverse. Rampaging lunatics might take their digital faux pas as invitations for real world transgressions. There’s already been some anecdotal evidence or suggestions that videogames played a part of inspired several mass shooters. Could the Metaverse cause an uptick in real life crime? As we’ve seen in real life, there are no safe spaces. Deranged individuals don’t recognize boundaries, and we don’t think it would be any different in the metaverse. If society does become unhinged or you find yourself in the crosshairs of a digital stalker, you won’t be able to hide the real life version of your avatar in the digital universe. You will need a real, steel physical solution. U.S. Safe Room’s panelized steel kits can provide a real safe space in a not-so safe world when it comes time to log-off. While you may never be able to completely your digital footprint, a panelized steel safe room kit can be installed discreetly in your home, allowing perpetual protection in an unpredictable digitized society.