Metaverse will bring many new opportunities but it may breed psychological issues. With the latest announcement of Mark Zuckerberg to rebrand Facebook as Meta has led us into a state of more uncertainty. Most of us have got the idea that we are entering into the next advanced phase of internet or social media. But no one is sure how metaverse is going to influence us. Some experts are of the opinion that virtual reality can actually cure many mental illness if the tech companies put people before profit.
On Instagram, the teens try to imitate and they reach a situation uncomfortable for their body. This behaviour will also be loaded on to the metaverse. Year 2022 has been the year of metaverse as with Facebook rebranding itself as meta. If Facebook creates a metaverse then almost one third of the population will be part of this. Overuse of the metaverse may lead to a series of mental disorders like depression, hallucinations, bipolar etc.
Following are some of the psychological effects of the metaverse:
Effects of the metaverse on the brain
In a video game, every time you are able to advance towards your goal or cross another level, you pleasure or some kind of excitement and happiness. This is because your brain releases dopamine. The same thing occurs when you get a like, comment, follow or other kind of engagement in social media. So, how you deal with the metaverse will stimulate the region of the brain that is responsible for pleasure. Long term involvement on such experiences will make a person to feel good and finally to become normal. In other words, a person will build dependence on such activities both mentally and physically.
Effects of the metaverse on mental health
To a certain limit, digital use can give us temporary pleasure from our day to day stress and monotony. But overuse of digital devices can cause serious mental health issues like anxiety and depression, insomnia, bipolar disorder, OCD, attention-deficit disorder and a lot more. But metaverse can have positive effects too. New companies have emerged that are working in this sector of how metaverse influence our mood and behaviour. Technology if implemented in the right direction can cure many mental diseases. Who knows that metaverse in the coming days can bring mental wellness.
Effects of the metaverse on relationships
The sole aim of social media was to connect more and more people and it has. But with more and more virtual connections, people are going alone and alone in real life. Two neighbours, who used to meet and talk regularly earlier now talk via Facebook and WhatsApp. Nowadays, parents often manage their kids by giving them a smartphone. Even parents, though nearby remain busy on the smartphone without caring much about kids. So, physical connections are slowly decreasing. In whatever ways, a person is engaging with others via social network, he is alone in his home. This in the long run can create mental health issues. Human interactions in real world are highly important for the benefit of mankind.
In the metaverse, our avatars can gain perfection in all aspects. A fat person can look thin, an old man may look young and so on. But the big question is will this make a person unable to engage properly in real life. To develop addiction for social media is harmful and so as the metaverse. Addiction leads to anxiety or depression, OCD, attention deficit disorder and many more.