What is the Metaverse?

We’ve long dreamed of surreal sci-fi inventions that we knew would never actually see the light of day – things like self-driving cars, luxury trips to space, alternate realities… ok, wait a second… maybe we weren’t as ambitious in our predictions as we once thought!

Indeed, just as cars are driving themselves and billionaires are gallivanting up to space, the alternate reality is becoming… a reality! While certainly conveniently timed to provide the social media giant some PR coverage against its most heinous crimes, there are some real inspirational nuggets to be found within the “metaverse” as Facebook is calling it.

The parent company of Facebook is now known as Meta, with Facebook becoming a brand beneath the Meta umbrella.

Let’s get Meta – what’s a metaverse?

Facebook (hereby referred to as their new corporate name, Meta) envisions “the Metaverse” as a worldwide network of alternate reality and virtual reality environments that everyone in the world plays a part in building.

The concept of a “virtual space” is nothing new – we’ve all seen the Jedi Council in Star Wars – but Meta’s implementation is. Meta doesn’t just want to create an “alternate” reality, it wants to create an enhanced one that frees us from the physical realm and the constraints that come with it. There are many other aspects to the metaverse, but the one we’ll discuss today is enhanced reality.

How will it do that?

Right now, you’re either sitting in front of a computer or holding a phone in your hand. These devices have some limitation, defined either by the cost of acquiring them, assorted sizes, your environment, needs, etc. Now let’s imagine a world without these limitations. Imagine there’s nothing in your hand or on your desk, but when you put on Meta’s alternate reality glasses, you see a cell phone with every feature you could dream of, or a desk filled with six top-of-the-line 4k computer monitors.

Demonstrated here, the metaverse could replace everyday devices that we use to accomplish tasks like email and texting with just an alternate reality experience,.

Now take it a step further…

Your grandfather in the hospital, unable to see his family across the world one final time. He puts on a pair of glasses, as do you, and you’re in the same room together. Or in Paris. Or at the Grand Canyon.

Your company wants to attract new clients from around the world, so you participate in a virtual trade show – that looks and feels like it’s taking place in a real convention hall – from the comfort of your office. Attendees from the world over can join without flying a representative around the world, feeding them or putting them in a hotel. The possibilities are endless.

The metaverse isn’t going to limit or hinder our social communication (much like Facebook in its current form does). Instead it’s going to expand it to new horizons. What society got so excited about when virtual reality first entered the scene is finally coming to fruition.

The other side of this coin? The world’s biggest social media giant is “effectively transition[ing] from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company,” as Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared in his initial announcement speech.”

Could this be the beginning of the end of social media as we know it? Let’s see.

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