Bridging the Technology Paradox – Metaverse Versus Universe – Jammu and Kashmir Latest News | Tourism
By Devasis Chattopadhyay
Globally, most of the business and tech media, both online and offline (read the print version), have been discussing the muted and declining revenue of Facebook’s parent meta-platforms in recent days amid growing competition from Tik Tok.
When I look at these two organizations, I often wonder, is it time to disconnect from “technology” and reconnect to the real world? But the question remains: what would we consider the real world today? Is this the real “virtual” world we are talking about?
Technology has literally and permanently taken over most of our lives and businesses. If we analyze our behavior and consult technology journals such as techjury.net, a one-stop-shop for all things software and devices, the sourced data would show that:
On average, an individual today consults their mobile or smartphone 90 times a day. A whopping 50% of teenagers worldwide are becoming addicted to their smartphones. And, over 6% of the world’s population has internet addiction (AI). And this ratio is higher than the percentage of the world’s drug-addicted population.
Since 2001, in 20 years, the number of Internet users has jumped by 1,000%, according to Andrew Proulx, a doctor of medicine at Queen’s University and a passionate researcher on addictions. He wrote in his article, Internet Addiction: Facts and Statistics, “The Internet certainly offers many potentially addictive activities: shopping, gambling, chatting, chatting, online relationships, gaming, seeking information, and viewing pornography.” . Most people know what it’s like to get sucked into spending more time online than they intended, but for some people it becomes an all-consuming addiction.
Internet addiction has become a universal problem. However, its localized percentage differs geographically. “A random-effects meta-analysis showed an overall global prevalence estimate of 6.0%…the highest prevalence (of IA) was in the Middle East at 10.9%…, and the lowest was in Northern and Western Europe with 2.6%,” Cecilia reported. Cheng and Angel Yee-lam Li, in their thesis – “Internet Addiction Prevalence and Quality of (Real) Life: A Meta-Analysis of 31 Nations Across Seven World Regions”. In the Indian context, the prevalence of Internet addiction is estimated at 1.3% of the general population, as mentioned in a study by Sharma, Rao, Benegal, Thennarasu and Thomas D, in their -‘Technology addiction survey: An emerging concern’. Which literally means that a net population of 1.7 crore has internet addiction in India.
Simply put, our smartphone or cell phone or handy as we call it has already replaced our camera, our calendar, our alarm clock, our notepad, our book, our music system, our mathematical ability , our dictionary, our thesaurus, our writing ability, our ability and desire to participate in outdoor sports and many other important activities, including how we manage our banking and financial transactions and the use of technology Blockchain for our investments. The only things the mobile phone can replace in our lives are our family and our way of procreating. Do we want our smartphones to replace them too?
So how fast is it, and how crucial is it, when we consider the growth of the internet and mobile technology in our lives? Currently, there are 4.88 billion Internet users and 5.29 billion mobile phone users in the world. And our ecosystem is rapidly loading into the world of 5G, AI and our new love – the “metaverse”.
The term “metaverse” was first mentioned in the science fiction “Snow Crash” in 1992 as a portmanteau of “meta” and “universe” – meaning, beyond the universe. We often associate the development of the metaverse with the advancement of virtual reality technology due to the increasing demands for immersion from internet users. Web3, a concept for a decentralized iteration of the Internet, has also influenced recent interest in metaverse development. We have used Web3 and metaverse as recent buzzwords to hype the development of progress of various technology projects by interested parties in the technology and mobility business space to intentionally sway public opinion in favor of these organizations through creative and manipulative public relations campaigns.
However, my concerns as a PR and communications professional about the growing chatter about metaverse systems stem from the challenges we already face in combating the addictive and manipulative use of social media, video games and online games. line. And, I sincerely believe that the chatter and growth of this phase of technology must first be counterbalanced by careful regulatory and social countermeasures.
In the age of the World Wide Web and social media, information privacy is already a concern for all of us. With the metaverse in place, it would be very easy to make an additional breach. It will therefore be necessary to regulate, because all the players in the field will probably collect the personal information of users thanks to the biometric data of portable virtual and augmented reality devices. Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook) already plans to use targeted advertising in its metaverse, raising new concerns about the spread of misinformation and loss of privacy through the use of consumers’ personal preferences by advertisers and social media platforms. Because, today, “users’ personal information” is the “new oil”, ie the flow of income. Need I say more?
Addiction and problematic use of social media are my real concerns. Internet addiction disorder, social media, and video game addiction can have mental and physical repercussions, leading to depression, anxiety, and various other psychological illnesses affecting our society. Behavioral experts also worry that we could use the metaverse as an “escape” from our reality in much the same way we use drugs to escape reality.
I discover, to my surprise, how interested actors are trying to shape the media narrative for unfettered business and social growth of 5G, AI, advanced robotics and metaverse as absolute necessities worldwide . No they are not.
The media discourse should be that we should be responsible and careful in using these powerful technological tools and we should first create countermeasures to deal with the negative fallout from this technological odyssey.
Our first commitment is to protect our “universe”. It is only when we are protecting it that we should think about going beyond it. (IPA)