Human interaction is going virtual and it’s almost here

Do you remember the first-ever date in your life? Dressing up for the evening, arriving at the place set for your date, that nervous energy bubbling inside you all the while, and finally getting into it? It might not have been fun for all of us, but it is memorable, isn’t it?

Human beings are social animals. Always were and always will be. Interacting with each other has always been part and parcel of our existence. In fact, we meet so many people that it is almost impossible to keep track. 

Remember those address books and phone books our parents and grandparents used to keep? Effective little ways of keeping people in memory, weren’t they?

It is fairly easy to say that our means of interaction have advanced rapidly since those days. From short message services to instant texting over the internet and video calls, communication technology has achieved almost warp speed in connecting people in a short period of time. So where do we go from here?

The Virtual Dimension

The story of Mark Zuckerberg and how he came up with the idea of Facebook is pretty popular these days. If you are not familiar with the story, the 2010 movie “The Social Network”, available on Netflix, should give you an idea. 

Inspired by online message boards and chat rooms, the concept of Facebook was to provide a platform for people to meet and become friends online. It is safe to say that the concept has exploded globally, becoming the all-out leader of the concept of Online or Digital Community.

Since Facebook, Mr. Zuckerberg has gone on to become a titan of social media by adding popular platforms such as Whatsapp and Instagram to his company. But apparently, there is more to come. On the 28th of October 2021, at Connect 2021, he has unveiled his plans for the next level to this virtual dimension that we all have seemingly become part of organically. 

“Meta” is the new name of the Facebook Corporation which brings together all its apps and technologies under one brand. Its “focus” area is, however, to bring the “Metaverse” to life.

 Described as a hybrid experience of today’s social media technology, it looks to incorporate technologies such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality to provide captivating experiences with people even when you aren’t together. It even proclaims to be capable of providing experience we simply cannot do on earth. So, say 20 years from now,  if your children or grandchildren had a first date playing mini-golf on the moon, that may just have been the case! 

A Completely Virtual Future?

The Covid-19 pandemic essentially sent us to a virtual world. With lockdowns and quarantines, virtual connections, both personal and professional, became our world. Although we embraced it with both hands initially, the lack of actual human experience has gotten to many. 

On the other hand, there already exists a plethora of cases of addictiveness to the virtual world, which has resulted in bizarre and horrific situations alike. 

So, the question for Zuckerberg and anyone who trots the same path is this. Can the virtual world compensate for the lack of actual human interaction? Will there be a fail-safe mechanism for when the experience becomes harmful? Whatever the answer, it seems like we will have it soon!